Europol and other law enforcement agencies from the European region have arrested six individuals in relation to the theft of $27 million (€24 million) worth of Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency.
According to a press release by Europol, the cybercriminals stole Bitcoin from at least 4,000 victims in 12 countries.
After a 14-month long investigation, five men and one woman were arrested at their homes in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, in a collective operation yesterday.
Information regarding the cryptocurrency heist remains limited. Europol states that the suspects deployed “typosquatting” which refers to purchasing domain names reminiscent of authentic online services but comprising a typographical error or minor variation.
Such spoofed domains contained URLs that were typically misspelled, deceiving potential victims into believing they are on the official web page of the real cryptocurrency trading posts and platforms. Thus, the legitimate cryptocurrency exchange was spoofed, granting the cybercriminals access to wallets and login credentials.
Victims that fell for the scam would initially think they were on the correct site, disclose sensitive information to the cybercriminals, permitting them to steal their cryptocurrency funds.
Since cryptocurrency remains profitable, cybercriminals will proceed to attempt and cash in. The fact that cryptocurrency exchanges are perceived by cybercriminals as easy targets should be a significant concern.
Earlier this year, hackers stole $40 million from Binance which compelled the global cryptocurrency exchange to enhance its own security. Nevertheless, the Europol press release illustrates that there are other methods in which hackers may utilize to target their victims.
Europol continues to play a unique role in solving cyber crimes, especially cryptocurrency crimes. In May, Europol and other authorities took down one of the largest cryptocurrency tumblers, BestMixer, as part of an anti-money laundering campaign.