Two brothers from Israel have been arrested in connection to the 2016 Bitfinex hack that saw the loss of around 119, 756 bitcoins. The two are Eli and Assaf Gigi who are based in Jerusalem. They are also accused of being involved in a crypto scheme where they accessed trader’s wallets and took their assets according to a report by the Finance Magnates.
The two gained access to investors wallets by running a simple phishing scheme where they posted in groups on Telegram with links to supposed crypto trading sites. The links which imitated legitimate wallets managed to trick investors into handing over their private information. The brothers used these details to gain access and transfer the crypto assets to their own accounts.
Initially, it was reported that the brothers had managed to obtain around $100 million through these scams. However, later reports indicate that the actual figure is in the “tens of millions” range. According to investigators, initial investigations began in 2017, and they believe more details will come to light as they go on with the process.
One of the brothers, Eli, is well recognized for his high technical skills as a former recruit to an Israeli Defense Forces unit that specializes in youth that have top academic results.
The Bitfinex hack led to the loss of over $65 million at the time, making it the largest breach since the Mt. Gox hack. After investigations, the United States government later returned around 27 bitcoins that were recovered.
Now the investigations on the brothers are set to continue with cyber police in multiple countries assisting due to the international nature of their crimes. Most of the victims scammed by the two are located in the United States and Europe.