Police in New Zealand issued an update on their investigation into the hack on cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia this Thursday. A statement released by the New Zealand Police Media Centre said that they were making positive progress in the case.
According to that statement, the case is “advancing on several fronts,” though authorities did not provide specific details on to how close they are to catching the thieves.
The police did say that they expect to finish working at Cryptopia’s offices, which are located in Christchurch, by the end of next week. Cryptopia staff, as well as former employees of the cryptocurrency exchange, are helping police on the case.
Currently, police are tracking the stolen funds and are working with other police forces across the globe and cybersecurity experts in New Zealand.
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“The focus is on identifying those behind this offending and retrieving the stolen cryptocurrency,” said Detective Inspector Greg Murton. “This is a complex investigation involving the theft of cryptocurrency in an unregulated environment. This investigation is expected to take a considerable amount of time to resolve due to the complexity of the cyber environment.”
Two hacks on Cryptopia
An initial hack on Cryptopia took place in the middle of January. That attack saw the hacker(s) make off with $16 million in Ethereum.
Just two weeks later, on January 30, rumors surfaced that the hackers had struck again. New Zealand police have since said that a second attack did not take place but, as is common in the gossipy world of cryptocurrency, that hasn’t put all of those rumors to rest.
Though their comments may suggest otherwise, it’s difficult to see how police will be able to catch the thief behind the attack. A lack of people familiar with the underlying technology which supports cryptocurrency transactions, as well as the anonymity which cloaks those transactions, makes connecting an individual to a set of cryptocurrency holdings difficult.