New Zealand Police: Cryptopia Hack is a 'Complex Situation', Taking Investigation 'Very Seriously'

New Zealand-based digital asset exchange, Cryptopia “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses” (on January 14th, 2019). An extensive follow-up police investigation of the Christchurch cryptocurrency trading company is currently being performed.

Police: Unable To Say How Long Investigation Could Take

According to the New Zealand Herald, local police officials are conducting a forensic digital investigation, while also examining the on-site operations of Cryptopia. In an official statement, police authorities said: 

We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take.

Although the police department did not disclose specific details regarding their investigation into the recent hack, an officer pointed out that there was a lot of “speculation in the online community about what might have occurred.”

He added: 

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.

Cryptopia's Exchange Now In Maintenance Mode

At present, the police officials do not know the amount of funds allegedly stolen due to the security breach reported by Cryptopia. After announcing that its crypto trading platform was hacked, Cryptopia informed its followers (via Twitter and through it official website) that the exchange had been “put into maintenance [mode] ... [as the company] assessed damages.”

As CryptoGlobe reported, the first tweet regarding the hack was sent out by Cryptopia’s management team on January 14th (at 06:55 UTC). At that time, the exchange operator only stated its trading platform had been taken offline due to “unscheduled maintenance.” The company did not provide any details about what had happened.

On January 15th (at 08:00 UTC), Cryptopia’s support team revealed it had suffered a damaging hack which had reportedly resulted in “significant losses.” However, the crypto exchange has still not disclosed the amount of funds Cryptopia and/or its users may have lost. As mentioned in the message to its followers, the firm’s staff have “notified … the appropriate government agencies.”

High Tech Crimes Division & Police Department Launch Joint Investigation

Currently, the matter is being investigated by New Zealand’s High Tech Crimes and the country's police department. An incident report was published (on January 15th) by the island nation’s authorities which confirmed that Cryptopia’s exchange was hacked and that the police department was “taking [it[ very seriously.”

As mentioned in the incident report, New Zealand’s police is “currently talking to the company to gain a further understanding of what has occurred.” A “dedicated investigation team” will be formed in Christchurch “including specialist police staff with expertise in this area”, local authorities stated.

At present, police are also “liaising with relevant partner agencies” based in New Zealand and other locations where Cryptopia’s services are offered.