Security experts have warned that people known to work in crypto establishments or are Ethereum trader app themselves are likely to become targets of fraud-related crime.
Generally, the one way to access one’s digital assets is via the private key. And courtesy of evolution in cryptography would take at least a quantum computer to decrypt. That being said, gangs and mafia have succeeded to reason outside the box. So instead of trying to decipher private keys, they now target crypto owners themselves.
An individual discovering you have a lot of crypto assets stored in a wallet and then threatens or attacks you for your private keys is dubbed a $5 wrench attack. Just last week in India, in Pimpri-Chinchwad, about right men were arrested for kidnapping a crypto trade for ransom. In fact, from several reports, a police officer was among the individuals arrested.
The arrested officer, whose name, according to reports, is Dilip Tukaram Khandare, discovered the crypto trader had 300 crore rupees stored in his wallet. That’s about $40 million worth of crypto assets. The officer was able to have this information while digging through the cybercrime database.
However, the trader was eventually released after the victim’s friend filed a missing person report. The police officer claimed he released the crypto trader for fear of repercussions.
Similarly, in November 2021, there was a break into the home of Dentzel Zaryn, the American tech entrepreneur in Spain. The assailants (about four in number) tried to coerce Zaryn to give up his private keys. From the data available, Zaryn holds Bitcoin worth approximately $58 million across his virtual wallets, with the majority of the funds amassed in a single account.
Zaryn’s refusal to corporate saw him tortured and beaten until he disclosed the private keys and other vital information. The assailants left immediately after they got what they needed.
A staff member of Cointelegraph known as Dr. Anon has earlier spoken about issues like this, offering his expertise in situations like this. Dr. Anon, in a magazine piece, wrote about this situation. He explained that circumstances like this are now frequently forcing one to choose between their life or money.
According to him, organized criminals and intricate professionals often execute these attacks. However, he believed one could considerably limit losses in the circumstances like this by having a “burner” crypto wallet funded with some crypto assets. If robberies were to happen, the burner wallet should be handed over and afterward file a report at the local police station.
Dr. Anon went on to say that it’s totally not worth it to get killed or tortured for refusing to give up the private key. So, the small loss is definitely a small price to pay.
In the same month, another $5 wench attack happened in Hong Kong when members of the train gang kidnapped a crypto trader. The members demanded a ransom of $30 million Hong Kong dollars (USD 3.8 million). Thanks to the police, the hideout used by the train gang members was raided, and the crypto trader was rescued. Although the rescue mission took place after one week, the crypto trader was kidnapped. The crypto trader affirmed that he was beaten and tortured with hammers in the bid for him to disclose his private keys.
From local reports, the kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of $8 million Hong Kong dollars (USD 1 million) but were eventually increased to $30 million Hong Kong dollars. This was because the gang members discovered the victim had plenty of USDT in his crypto wallet.
According to Dr. Anon, the best strategy for many crypto traders is to remain anonymous online or keep a low profile. He went on to say that it is also important one has a cover story in situations when starters ask them about their occupation.
A lot of profiles will certainly get you out of trouble. Even decoy crypto won’t save you if you’re loud and frequently flaunt your wealth. This is because the criminals might overestimate your financial status and demand a ransom far greater than what you can afford. It will surely be difficult to get out of a situation like that.