Last month, Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency trading firm lost $530 million worth of NEM coins to malicious hackers. Now the white hats are on board to help retrieve the stolen funds. No information regarding the hackers nor their identities have been found out, but the white hats might change the scenario.
Shota Hamabe, a 34-year old programmer who works in an IT company, came forward to show disappointment regarding the situation it give their industry a bad name. He further went on to state, “The incident has created a negative image of virtual currencies, but I believe they can make a huge difference in the way we transmit data and handle business.” Hamabe is an active participant in the search for the Stolen NEM coins.
It is worth mentioning that NEM comes with a unique feature which allows them to be tracked. A sender of NEM attaches a marker which is called a mosaic, and this gets sent to the receiver’s account. The white hats have currently devised a strategy to send small amounts of NEM to mark accounts where the stolen funds have been moved. This will help them to later track whenever NEM has been transferred from those marked accounts to other accounts.
We have reports from Coincheck that estimates about 400 accounts were involved in transferring the funds. Obviously, the hackers were aware of the tracking potential of NEM and the deliberate distribution of NEM over such a huge account base was to complicate the tracking efforts. Now our white hats do have the persistence as well as the intelligence to track down where the stolen currencies went, but the owner’s identity won’t be revealed through such methods.
To prevent similar future mishaps Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is currently busy inspecting all the digital currency exchanges to make sure right protocols are being maintained and the consumer’s protection is assured.