NZ Police Force Aware of ‘Cryptopia Hack Inside Job’ Speculation, Will Keep an “Open Mind”
Law enforcement officials in New Zealand are in the early stages of investigating this week’s Cryptopia hack. The country’s police force released an update Wednesday saying it was keeping an “open mind” on all possibilities related to the hack.
The incident is still being referred to as a hack. However, it’s not totally clear whether it was a hack or an exit scam. Some reports online claim that Cryptopia’s founders – or a rogue team member – pulled an exit scam, withdrawing funds and disappearing while making it look like a hack.
Other reports, however, suggest this was a straightforward hacking attack. That’s why police in New Zealand are keeping an open mind on the case. An alleged $3.6 million has gone missing from the exchange after the incident.
Meanwhile, some of the funds stolen during the hack have been transferred to Binance. In a statement on Twitter, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao claimed that his exchange was “able to freeze some of the funds”, and that he wasn’t sure why hackers would continue sending hacked funds to his exchange:
“I don’t understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It’s a high risk maneuver for them,” added Changpeng Zhao.
Meanwhile, police in New Zealand are actively investigating the attack, although it seems they know very little at this point.
“We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take,” explained the New Zealand police in a statement released Wednesday.
The police added that they were keeping an “open mind” regarding all possibilities and that the investigation was still in its “very early stages”.
At this point, however, law enforcement officials know little about the Cryptopia hack. It’s unclear how much crypto was stolen, “other than it is a significant amount.”
New Zealand Police Are Performing a Comprehensive Digital and Physical Review of Cryptopia
New Zealand’s police force has assigned specialized staff from the agency’s High Tech Crime Unit and the Canterbury Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) to the case. The team is performing a forensic digital review of the exchange. They are also conducting a physical review of the exchange’s premises.
The first priority for New Zealand police is to “identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers,” explains the statement from Wednesday.
The police also revealed that they’re aware of ongoing online rumors about the exchange hack – including rumors that it was an exit scam. Some rumors online suggest that Cryptopia’s founders pulled an elaborate exit scam and that the exchange wasn’t hacked at all:
“We are also aware of speculation in the online community about what might have occurred. It is too early for us to draw any conclusions and Police will keep an open mind on all possibilities while we gather the information we need,” explained the police in their statement.
Meanwhile, Cryptopia has been quiet regarding the alleged hack or exit scam. In a statement released yesterday, the exchange described how they had “suffered a security breach while resulted in significant losses” and that the exchange has been put in “maintenance mode” while police investigate.
The exchange is expected to remain in maintenance mode, with trading suspended, until police complete their investigation.
“We are unable to update anyone at the moment as it’s now a police matter. Keep an eye on our social channels for updates,” explained Cryptopia in a statement.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as it continues to roll out.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 15, 2019