Crypto Exchange Coinsecure Reports $3.3M USD Theft, Inside Job Suspected

Crime, News | April 13, 2018 By:

India-based crypto exchange CoinSecure has reported that 438.318 bitcoins (approx. $3.3M USD) have been stolen from its crypto wallet.

The theft was announced via two images posted in the company’s website. The images contained a statement signed by the Coinsecure team announcing the incident, and a scanned copy of a police complaint Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra filed with New Delhi police.

The theft was exposed when users trading on the platform complained that they were unable to access their funds in the last few days. After investigating the issue, the exchange found that all bitcoins that were stored offline had vanished. CoinSecure said the private keys were leaked online and the stolen funds have been siphoned off to an address beyond its control.

“Our system itself has never been compromised or hacked, and the current issue points towards losses caused during an exercise to extract Bitcoin Gold (BTG) to distribute to our customers,” the company said. “Our CSO, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, was extracting BTG and he claims that funds have been lost in the process during the extraction of the private keys.”

In its police complaint, the company claimed that on April 9, Saxena contacted them stating that the funds have been stolen due to an attack, but Kalra did not believe his explanation. Kalra has alleged that Saxena is “making a false story.”

“We were informed by our CSO, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, that 438.318 bitcoins, (worth INR 19 crores- Approx.) were stolen from our company’s bitcoin wallet due to some attack,” Kalra said. “As the private keys are kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident.”

Kalra said that that even if the stolen funds are not recovered, his company is willing to pay from its own pocket to compensate its customers. He added that they contacted specialists to find out the source of the hack and trace the stolen funds.

Senior officers of Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell said that the company’s servers have been seized to ascertain the extent of the system breach. It is also being checked if more wallets have been compromised. The senior security officials of the company have also been called in for questioning.