Back in 2018, a man from the United States, Andrew Schober, had to experience a malware attack that resulted in a total loss of about 16.4 BTC equaling $800,000 at today’s BTC/USD rate.
After hiring forensic specialists for around $10,000, Schober did all he could to corner the culprits but eventually, it was realized that the hackers live far away from England. Eventually, it was discovered that the perpetrators are minors, at least at the time of the hack launch.
The two hackers were a student of computer science in different universities in the United Kingdom.
The Defendants Plead Guilty to the Theft, But Not as Straightforward as Expected
Having been involved with minors, Schober reached out to their parents to establish a compromise by reasoning. He started by writing the parents to tender an explanation in the hope of a resolution. In his letter, Schober gave the details of the events per his investigation attached with evidence or assurance. He also explained the implication of the theft on his life emotionally and financially.
The words used in the letter include; “[Having] to lose that kind of money made me devastating emotionally and financially. For the kids, it might just be a harmless joke or prank, but the consequence on my life is immeasurable.”
Trying to be as reasonable as he could, instead of pursuing legal action, Schober offered a return of the stolen BTC, including the amount he spent to hire forensic specialists to investigate the case.
His letter, however, did not get any response as it is, forcing Schober to result to the next line of action – suing the parents.
In May 2021, the man went on to file a lawsuit against Oliver Read, Benedict Thompson, and their parents at the Colorado District Court.
The twist in the situation came from the response the lawsuit got from the defendants on August 6, 2021, claiming that the case is statute-barred because it was reported late to the court. Adding to the motion filed by the defendants, they claimed they had voluntarily attended an interview with the U.S. police on the case.
Details of the Event
From Schober’s investigation, it was revealed that he got attacked by malware when he clicked a link n Reddit to install a wallet called Electrum Atom. The malware works by hijacking the computer’s clipboard, replacing whatever BTC address copied with the one controlled by the hackers.
A report from Total 360 Security, a cyber security firm, revealed that in a week of testing, they found similar clipboard hijacking trojans on over 300,000 computers, and in the meantime, their recommendation is to double-check every crypto address copied before sending.
For Schober, the case has gotten complicated, having met a statute-barred limitation and the inter-border involvement with the U.K. judiciary system. This means he will have to go the extra mile to get justice.