April 26, 2018

Coinsecure Says 438 Bitcoins Worth Rs. 19 Crores Stolen - Inside Job Suspected

14 April 2018, 11:03 | Cesar Cruz

Bitcoins worth Rs 20 crore stolen in India's biggest e-heist

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Indian bitcoin exchange Coinsecure has disclosed a theft of 438 bitcoins, valued at over $3 million at press time, from its wallet in what is the country's biggest cryptocurrency theft to date. A private key is an integral aspect of bitcoin and altcoins, and its security make up helps to protect a user from theft and unauthorized access to funds. The complaint says that Kalra doesn't believe Saxena's explanation of the incident, and also urges authorities to seize Saxena's passport to keep him from fleeing the country. "As the private keys are kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident", reads the first information report filed by the company with the Delhi police. In its statement and the FIR, the company has stated that the explanation of the event by its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was unsatisfactory and he should not be allowed to fly overseas until the matter gets resolved. Apparently, the private keys (passwords) that are stored offline had been leaked online.

Trying to trace the hackers proved futile as the data logs of the affected wallets had been wiped off.

The company maintains that it has never been hacked or compromised and the incident took place when its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was extracting BTG (Bitcoin Gold) to distribute to its customers. A case was registered under IPC sections and Section 66 of the IT Act.

Karla told Times of India, "Private keys should have never been exported online". "It looks like a crime committed intentionally", he added.

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The exchange says they will compensate customers whether they recover the stolen funds or not.

The company has launched a complaint with the Cyber Cell in Delhi and is also conducting an investigation with the help of cybersecurity experts. Saxena could not be contacted, so right now we only have Coinsecure's statement, however, the company has mentioned on its website that it's working to recover customers' funds, and it reassured all customers that they will be indemnified from Coinsecure's personal funds.

The Reserve Bank of India has barred banks from facilitating trade on virtual currencies and mandating them to unwind their existing relationship with exchanges within three months.

This is happening just days after the RBI effectively banned Bitcoin trading in India, by barring regulated entities like banks from dealing with businesses or individuals who deal in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and so on, even though the cryptocurrencies themselves remain legal.

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