A woman named known as Ayushi in Bengaluru India was arrested on Tuesday for stealing 64 bitcoins (BTC) worth Rs 3.66 crore ($480,000) from her previous employer – a cryptocurrency exchange.
According to a report by The New Indian Express today, on March 13, the exchange, BitCipher Labs got to know about the theft conducted on its hardware wallets, which took place on January 11 and March 11 respectively.
This prompted the exchange’s founder and CEO, Ashish Singhal, to alert the police to track down the perpetrators of the theft.
As per the report, the exchange stores its BTC tokens in two separate hardware wallets, which is operated by two employees, Vimal Sagar Tiwari and Govind Kumar Soni. The wallets use a 24-words password to authenticate transactions, which is reportedly written on a piece of paper and stored in a secured place, to prevent criminals from gaining unauthorized access.
Indian Express noted that the passwords could only be accessed by Singhal and other partners of the exchange.
However, the accused gained access to the exchange’s wallets due to her close relationship with the CEO.
“Since a password is required for BTC transactions, it was suspected that the culprit was someone proficient in using this technology, and who was closely associated with the firm,” one of the police officers spoke to an audience.
Immediately Singhal filed a complaint to the local police district, the police swung into action by interrogating all previous employees of the exchange, with Ayushi confessing to having perpetrated the act.
The Accused Confesses Her Crime
She confessed that her close relationship with the CEO gave her access to where the wallets’ password is stored. Upon gaining access, she opened the storage and took photographs of the passwords which she later used to transfer the BTC.
After illegally transferring the BTC, she decided to exchange them for Monero (XMR) using Swaplab exchange and subsequently transferring the XMR tokens to her Binance account.
Ayushi added that she had always wanted to start her cryptocurrency exchange. However, that dream would not be coming to reality anytime soon after the long arm of the law caught up with her.
She has promised to transfer the stolen BTC to BitCipher Labs, the original owners of the tokens.
In a similar development, Coinfomania reported last year arrested an 18-year old for his involvement in $134,000 crypto theft.