Dubai Police Recover $1.9 Million Taken In Bitcoin Heist Using AI Tech

Francisco Memoria
  • Police in Dubai managed to recover $1.9 million that were taken from two brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin.
  • The brothers were ttacked by a gang of 10 men. All of them were arrested within 48 hours of the incident.

Police in Dubai have recently been able to arrest ten gang members who reportedly stolen 7 million AED ($1.9 million) from two Asian brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin in the Al Muraqabbat area, according to news outlet Gulf News.

Per the news outlet’s report, the two brothers wanted to buy the flagship cryptocurrency, and were lured by some of the gang’s members to an office inside a market. In it, they were then assaulted, robbed at gunpoint, and threatened before being tied and locked inside said office. The assailants then fled the scene.

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker, Director of Dubai police's Criminal Investigation Department, stated:

"The brothers searched randomly in the market to buy Bitcoin. The gang lured them claiming they can sell them Bitcoin.”

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker

While six members were inside the office with the two brothers, three reportedly waited outside. The gang’s members managed to get access to the office by tricking its owner into believing they were going to buy it.

Per Dubai Police’s commander-in-chief, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, the gang’s mastermind was identified within four hours of the incident, and his whole gang had reportedly been caught within 48 hours, as police quickly managed to locate them. The stolen funds were reportedly returned to the two victims.

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour, assistant commander-in-chief, revealed that the police’s success was partly driven by the data analysis center using smart programs and artificial intelligence technology to trace the gang’s members. He was quoted as saying:

“Using AI helped Dubai Police to arrest a Gulf National, who is the head of the gang, and other Asian suspects The information from the data analysis center helped the officers to arrest all gang members."

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour

Attacks in which criminals try to get bitcoin from their victims are seemingly increasing. As recently covered, two robbers used bear spray to steal from bitcoin ATMs in the United States earlier this month. CCTV footage of the robbery ended up on YouTube.

Decentralized Crypto Exchange Bisq Exploited for $250,000 in BTC and XMR

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Bisq, which allows for peer-to-peer trading, has halted trading on Tuesday after uncovering a “critical security vulnerability.”  The vulnerability led to the loss of at least $250,000 in BTC and XMR.

At the time the exchange didn’t go into the situation, but merely advised users to not make any transactions. It used an alert key functionality to halt trading, but as it’s a decentralized exchange it can be bypassed by users.

About 18 hours after initially halting trading, Bisq revealed it was exploited by a hacker who managed to steal “approximately 3 BTC and 4000 XMR” from seven different users on the platform. The only affected market was the XMR/BTC one, and affected traders occurred over the past 12 days, Bisq revealed.

The vulnerability was created after an upgrade meant to help further decentralized the platform, by removing arbitrators with a third key in the multisig escrow used when trading funds. The arbitrators were replaced with mediators and arbitrators with no keys in the escrow, and to make up for the removal of a trusted third party, Bisq moved BTC trade funds to a so-called “donation address” after a time limit in order to solve abandoned trades.

Per the exchange, a flaw in the way the traders were carried out allowed a hacker to change the address the funds would be sent to for his own, netting around $250,000 in crypto.

This donation address is set by the Bisq DAO and approved by DAO stakeholders. Bisq software did not verify that the payout address for trades was actually the Bisq donation address set by the DAO before signing and sending the time-locked payout TX to the trade counterparty.

On Bisq’s forums, users pointed to a bitcoin address the funds moved through, which has seen a total of 19.6 BTC ($143,000) flow through it. Blockchain data shows the funds have since then hopped through various addresses, likely to conceal their origin and throw off sleuths.

Bisq’s DAO, the exchange’s funding mechanism, is reportedly going to create a proposal to repay the seven known victims of the hack using future trading revenues.

Featured image via Pixabay.