Those affected paid the ransomware and part of the BTC funds were deposited in the account of a user in Bitfinex.
A court in the United Kingdom issued an order addressed to Bitfinex, in which they requested the exchange to freeze USD $860,000 worth in BTC funds allegedly associated with a ransomware attack.
According to information published by various means, the victim of the attack would have made a payment equivalent to about USD $950,000 in Bitcoin funds to the attacker’s address through an insurance company. The High Court of England and Wales (an entity that followed up on the case) reported that the attackers exchanged part of the BTC for fiat money, but the rest was destined for an address associated with the exchange.
The Chainalysis Blockchain research firm followed up on the operations and tracked the funds during its passage between different directions, subsequently provided the information to the court to determine the freezing of the respective funds. Bitfinex should now share with the authorities the KYC data of the user who is the owner of the account to which they transferred the respective Bitcoin.
Ransomware attack and BTC rescue payment
The affected company, whose identity was not disclosed, was affected by a ransomware attack that encrypted the information hosted on their computers. The attackers requested a payment of USD $1.2 million in Bitcoin but the insurance company provided about USD $950,000 equivalent to 109.25 BTC as a ransom.
Once the funds were consigned to the attacker’s account, they moved some 96 BTC (USD $861,000) to an address associated with the Bitfinex exchange. The authorities presume that the criminals exchanged part of the funds for fiat money, so this capital could not be tracked.
The approach of the case and the measures taken by the court appear as an important antecedent for the coming regulations, since the authorities would be considering Bitcoin as a property, and not as a value as defended by some regulatory bodies and legislators of the United Kingdom.
Bitfinex collaborates with the authorities
Although the investigation points to Bitfinex and the company iFinex as defendants in the case, the exchange executives published a statement in which they say they actively collaborate with the authorities to find those responsible.
The statement stipulates:
“Bitfinex has robust systems to support the authorities and affected in cases like this. We understand that the central figure of the investigation is no longer the exchange platform, since the company actively collaborates to clarify what happened … Bitfinex does not have any type of connection with this crime. “