South Korean news agency Yonhap has reported that the Supreme Court has ruled against a child pornography site operator, forcing him to pay 191 Bitcoins after his appeal to forfeit his cryptocurrency assets. The 33 year-old criminal was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 18 months in prison, along with a penalty fine of 696 million won ($644,000).
One of the prosecutors requested that the court forfeit his Bitcoins since they “exist electronically and have no physical form”. However, the judge ruled against the appeal by stating that BTC can be termed as “profit earned from trade in goods”. His Bitcoin holdings translate to around $1.4 million.
Cryptocurrency in Cyber Crime
With the increasing attention that cryptocurrencies are receiving, more and more criminals are starting to use them in a negative manner. Two days ago, London police got a hold of £500,000 or $667,000’s worth of Bitcoins stolen by British hacker Grant West.
West used fake surveys and hacked Barclay’s, Asda, Ladbrokes, Uber, and British Airways to attain and sell user information. He then bought an Audi and treated himself to a trip to Las Vegas. West was arrested in 2017 by the Scotland Yard cybercrime unit, who not only had to capture him but make sure that he couldn’t log out of his private wallets.
On May 24th, Reuters reported that a total of $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies have been stolen since 2017. Dave Jevans, Security firm CipherTrace CEO, said, “One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys.” Unfortunately, only 20% has been recovered by the police while the whereabouts of the rest remains unknown.
Apart from hacking, criminals have started mining cryptocurrencies using computer power without the consent of the user. This practice, known as cryptojacking, is usually spread through a scrypt that runs in the background of a computer.
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