Coincheck hackers get traced as stolen cryptocoins trickle to other accounts
Last week saw the biggest heist ever recorded in the crypto world when hackers managed to steal more than US$500 million worth of NEM coins from Japanese online exchange Coincheck. The NEM Foundation assured the affected customers that the underlying protocol offers improved security that will enable authorities to track down the hackers if they try to move the stolen coin to other exchanges in hopes of transforming the cryptocurrency into fiat. With the help of the Foundation, the Japanese exchange and authorities managed to trace all the NEM coins to an unidentified account, and, according to NEM Foundation vice-president Jeff McDonald informed that owners of said account are now slowly moving the stolen coins to six exchanges.
Coincheck and the Foundation are trying to collaborate with the other exchanges in order to freeze all outgoing transactions that involve any of the stolen coins. NEM European promoter Paul Rieger created a bit of confusion when he stated for Reuters that the unidentified account is actually sending coins in batches of 100 (~US$83) to random accounts rather than other exchanges. To clarify the situation Coincheck informed Japan News that the stolen coins were tracked as they were sent to many different accounts (as much as 20). A later Forbes statement from McDonald revealed that the authorities “tagged all the coins so anyone who attempts to purchase them will know they were stolen from Coincheck and should not be purchased. We also have other strategies that we cannot disclose fully at this time. But it does involve an automated system that will follow the coins and tag any accounts that receive the coins.”
The contradictory statements may be related to security concerns regarding the actual measures used by the authorities in order to track and secure the stolen coins. It is important to note that, even if the stolen coins do not get recouped in a timely manner, Coincheck will still reimburse all the affected customers from its own capital.