‘Blockchain Bandit’ shifts $90 million in stolen crypto

A hacker also known as ‘Blockchain Bandit’ has reportedly moved his ill-gotten gains after 6 years.

Over 10,000 crypto wallets emptied

The hacker managed to steal some $90 million worth of cryptocurrencies in 2016 through a long-running series of programmatic thefts. In total, the hacker moved approximately 51,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 470 Bitcoin (BTC). This equates to approximately $90 million. Chainalysis tracked the movement of the stolen funds and they suspect that the hacker moved the funds due to the recent price jump.

The hacker got the name ā€œBlockchain Banditā€ because he was able to empty Ethereum wallets protected by weak private keys through a process known as ā€œethercombing.ā€

This hacker’s programmatic theft process led to at least 10,000 individuals’ crypto wallets around the world being emptied by the attacker.

Method of hacker very effective

The hacker’s method proved so effective that he managed to steal nearly 45,000 ETH in 2019 alone. Reportedly, the hacker was accidentally discovered when a security analyst was investigating a private key generation. It was noted here that the hacker had set up a node to automatically drain funds from addresses with weak keys.

To avoid advising weak private keys, Chainanalysis advised its users to use known and trusted wallets and consider moving funds to hardware wallets if large amounts of cryptocurrency are involved.

The researchers identified 732 weak private keys associated with a total of 49,060 transactions. However, it is unclear how many of these were exploited by the bandit. At the end he said the following:

There was a guy who had an address who went around siphoning money off some of the keys we had access to.

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