Chinese authorities have reportedly arrested three suspected hackers believed to be responsible for the theft of about $87 million in cryptocurrency, according to The Jakarta Post. The arrests were made after a lengthy investigation that began in March 2018 to examine complaints that hackers stole roughly $15 million of Bitcoin and ether by seizing control of a victim’s computer.
That initial investigation led police to one suspect in Hunan province, identified only by the surname “Zhou.” When police examined the suspect’s communications, they discovered the identities of two accomplices who allegedly participated in a scheme to hack computers owned by various companies and individuals. That scheme resulted in the theft of about 600 million yuan, or $87 million.
Police identified Zhou by tracking the cryptocurrency transactions from the theft. While digital currency transactions are largely anonymous, law enforcement in many jurisdictions has discovered that the immutability of blockchain transactions can provide the digital trail they need to effectively track illicit activities to their source.
The Post report suggests that the police investigation is still ongoing, as the Chinese government continues its previously announced crackdown on cryptocurrency-related activities in the country.