Israeli crypto criminal indicted for $1.75 million hack

19 Jul, 2019 | Updated: 19 Jul, 2019
by David Robb
Israeli crypto criminal indicted for $1.75 million hack

An Israeli hacker has been charged with fraud, theft, and a number of other charges related to cryptocurrencies. Eliyahu Gigi was indicted at the Tel Aviv District Court, as reported by Globes.

Gigi is 31, and based in Tel Aviv. He is a graduate of an elite technological unit of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), which recruits young people who perform at a high level academically. He has now been charged with offenses under the Computers Law, as well as theft, fraud, aggravated counterfeiting, use of a forged document, perjury, money laundering, and offenses under the Income Tax Ordinance. Gigi is also suspected of having links to the 2016 Bitfinex hack.

An investigation conducted by the cyber unit in the Israel Police Lahav 433 squad, in cooperation with the Israel Tax Authority Yahalom unit, led to Gigi's arrest in June, alongside his 22 year-old brother. Gigi's criminal operation involved a number of different websites, which were set up in order to hack into their computers, steal their security details, and gain access to their crypto. He posted links on forums to these sites, which advertised software that helped users manage their crypto wallets.

The hacker was able to steal around NIS 6.1 million ($1.75 million) in digital currencies from foreign citizens, a figure that was scaled down from an initially-suspected $100 million. His victims included citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. The currencies that Gigi stole were Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dash (DASH). 

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