Express News Service
BENGALURU: The main accused in the Bitcoin scam, Srikrishna alias Sriki alias AP (his Internet identity), has claimed that there are digital footprints of his crime in his logs, Skype chats and on Facebook etc. “The digital evidence needs to be forensically traced and investigated for a better understanding of the cybercrime. Since the servers of all these exchanges and websites are overseas, the assistance from the Interpol is necessary,” said sources.
His claims of hacking gaming portals, international websites and crypto exchange servers in countries like the US, China, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Ukraine etc are now a subject of intense investigation. After the City police, the CID, which is in the process of submitting the chargesheet in the hacking of the e-procurement website of the State government, is reportedly approaching the Interpol for help in hacking cases that Srikrishna has confessed to be reportedly involved in overseas with his “network of friends in Italy, France, Germany etc.
Sriki has been accused of downloading tender bids, hacking international websites, Bitclubs, stealing and dumping data and purchasing drugs on the Silk Road — the darknet market website, to moving 80,000 euros from cold wallets in India to Europe.
Inconsistencies in hacker’s statement
Srikrishna’s voluntary statement to the police, which has no evidentiary value in the court, is a narrative of his meanderings from a hacker at a young age to a drug addict to his ventures into international cybercrimes with a vast network of like-minded people. There are inconsistencies in his statement, which raise questions on the authenticity of his claims.
He said he had hacked his college portal to give attendance and marks to his friends with “no monetary gains.” In the same breath, he had added that he made “500 subjects pass at the rate of Rs 30,000 per subject, a profit of around Rs 1.5cr.” His voluntary statement to the police is enclosed along with the exhaustive chargesheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB).
His admission, that as a student of the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, he had befriended a driver, Walid Attadloui, who used to drive him around the country to deal in cash exchanges and their daily turnover was around 50,000-1,00,000 euros, o n wh i ch t h e y had made around a 3-5 per cent margin on the deals. Sriki al le ged that Wal i d had stolen his and his brother’s passports, two laptops, cash in euros, a hard drive and two cameras.
“Walid was arrested and produced before the court in NL, but I did not receive my laptop back which had around $3M USD in BTC,” said the hacker. He had added that he has a log in his Skype chats with “friends about moving around 80,000 euros from cold wallets in India to Europe,” he has claimed. He had also said about being the “first person to hack the Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange… the second instance was a simple spear-phishing attack which led to two Israeli hackers working for the army getting access to the computers of one of the employees, which gave them access to the AWS cloud account. The hacker even boasted of getting past the Customs in his illicit business of dealing in narcotic drugs through the darknet. “The chats can be found in my Skype account,” he had stated.
Sriki has not sought security
Srikrishna has neither asked for security cover nor has he been provided with one, said sources. “But there is a close watch on him,” they added.
Crypto issue: parl panel summons finmin
As the Centre looks to regulate Cryptocurrency, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance wants Finance Ministry officials to explain who will be the regulatory authority for cryptocurrency players and how the Centre is planning to regulate the industry, which defies the definition of standard “industry” or “assets” or “technology”.