The list of crypto-related crimes became longer this weekend after local crime news agency, Posta reported that Israeli authorities arrested two brothers Eli and Assaf Gigi for using various schemes to steal cryptocurrencies from their victims.
As per the report, the men could also be connected with the hack of a cryptocurrency exchange, now identified by other news agencies as Hong-Kong based, Bitfinex which lost roughly $72 million worth of Bitcoins to hackers in 2016.
Eli and Assaf Gigi allegedly carried out their operations by setting up phishing sites that fooled victims into submitting their crypto credentials believing that they are on the website of a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet providers.
The brothers then used the stolen information to steal users’ crypto assets from the real cryptocurrency exchange or wallet. To increase the number of their victims, the brothers allegedly shared links to those phishing sites to different crypto and trading-focused Telegram channels.
The police further note that most of Eli and Assaf Gigi victims’ were people based in the U.K and the United States, although the exact figure amassed by the hackers through their schemes is yet unknown.
In connection with the $72 million Bitfinex hack, which we earlier reported the retrieval of some funds, authorities did not give away much information. However, it suggested that Eli and Assaf Gigi had collaborated with other foreign persons to carry out the scheme which targeted crypto wallets holding thousands of Bitcoins.
Meanwhile, the older brother Eli was identified as a graduate of the elite technological unit of the Israel Defence Force and reportedly admitted involvement with the offense, telling a court,
"I was wrong. I came from a bad place. I'm a good boy, and I'm sorry. I'm willing to cooperate."