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1 month ago

Bitcoins worth Rs 9 cr seized from arrested hacker, probe sheds light on his lavish life – The Indian Express

Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) Police seized Rs 9 crore worth of bitcoins from an arrested hacker identified as Shri Krishna. Further investigation has revealed that Krishna, along with five friends, hacked into three bitcoin exchanges and ten poker websites by pushing three types of malware into them. They also hacked into YFI coin (Yearn Finance) Ethereum sites in various countries using a similar modus operandi, police said.

Krishna, resident of Jayanagar in south Bengaluru, is a software engineer. He was arrested by the CCB in November last year for sourcing drugs through the darknet using bitcoins. Bengaluru Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil said Krishna and his friends, apart from buying drugs, were also using these bitcoins to lead lavish lives, adding that they had stayed in star hotels and resorts.

The 25-year-old Krishna was also booked for stealing Rs 11 crore from the Karnataka government’s e-procurement portal in August 2019. “We have recovered 31 bitcoins from Krishna, which is worth Rs 9 crore. Along with other accused – Suneesh Hegde, Prasad Shetty, Sujay, Hemanth Mudappa, and Robin Khandelwal – Krishna hacked into various international poker sites, stole data and used it in their gaming sites. We shared all information with the companies concerned, through Interpol,” Patil said.

“After hacking websites and stealing data and money, he used to convert it into bitcoins. The bitcoins were traded for money through another accused, identified as Robin Khandelwal. He deposited the money to Krishna’s bank account after trading the bitcoins through hawala channels,” Patil said.

Krishna graduated in computer science from a college in Amsterdam in 2017 and has good knowledge of computers and the internet, police said.

A senior officer said that Krishna would encrypt data and demand payment from owners for the site to be unlocked by attacking the portals online. “After returning to Bengaluru from Amsterdam, he could not find a job. He started hacking into gaming websites and other websites to steal data. He also used to create mirror sites and get information on credit or debit cards used by people who accessed sites to steal money,” an official said.

His modus operandi came to light after the CCB launched a probe into the international drug racket. On November 4, police arrested M Sujay of Sadashivanagar after recovering 500 grams of hydro ganja couriered to him from the Netherlands. Further probe led to the arrest of Krishna and his friends.

Police said Krishna, over the last couple of years, had also been helping the other accused purchase ganja (cannabis) and other narcotic substances the darknet and made payments through bitcoins.

Krishna also confessed to helping organise rave parties in various apartments, hotels and farmhouses across the city. CID is probing the hacking into the government’s e-procurement site and a separate case has been registered against him.

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