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British Court Orders Bitfinex to Freeze $860,000 in BTC From Ransomware Attack

A London judge last week reportedly ordered cryptocurrency exchange platform, BitFinex to freeze 96 BTC (appr. $861,200 at press time) transferred to the exchange by a user who collected payout from a ransomware attack.

According to a report by New Money Review, the victim of the attack was an unnamed Canadian insurance company. Over 1000 computers at the firm were paralyzed with a bug infected by the perpetrator.

The perpetrator then demanded that the company paid $1.2 million in bitcoin, of which the company paid $950,000 through an insurance company as per a filing published last week by the England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court).

The company’s insurer which made the payment noted in its filing that the perpetrator upon receiving the bitcoins totalling 109.25 BTC, converted some of the payouts to fiat while 96 BTC (appr. $861,200 at press time) were sent to an address on the Bitfinex exchange.

The court thus ordered Bitfinex to freeze the fund and provide vital know-your-customer (KYC) information that would lead to finding the account owner. 

While the exchange did not openly admit to giving away the KYC information, they disclosed in a statement that they’re now working with the claimant to recover the funds following a court order mandating them to do so. Bitfinex also no longer appears to be a target in the lawsuit, adding in the statement:

We understand the focus of the Claimant’s attention is no longer on the Bitfinex platform. It now appears Bitfinex is an entirely innocent party mixed up in this wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the filings also revealed that leading crypto forensics firm, Chainalysis had assisted the insurer in recovering the funds using the cryptoanalysis software developed by the company.

In a similar development, Coinfomania reported last year that crypto project, NULS lost almost $480K worth of tokens to hackers, with over 25% of that amount eventually becoming untraceable.

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