Posted on August 27, 2021 at 5:51 PM
The parents of two teenagers who infected a computer with malware to steal16.4552 in Bitcoin in 2018 have been sued.
The victim, Andrew Schober, filed the case in Colorado, accused the two kids, Oliver Read and Benedict Thompson, who were minors at the time, for their development of the clipboard malware.
According to the statement, the software was unknowingly downloaded by Schober after clicking on a link from Reddit. The victim installed the malware rather than the Electrum Atom cryptocurrency application it advertised on Reddit.
The malware triggered a Man-in-The-Middle (MiTM) attack during the transfer of Bitcoin from one account to another.
This allegedly replaced the address with another Bitcoin address belonging to the teenagers, who diverted the funds to the account.
The filing noted that the diverted amount was 95% of the victim’s net wet when the incident occurred. The stolen Bitcoin, when converted to fiat using today’s Bitcoin price, is worth about $777,000.
The complaint reads that Mr. Schober planned to support his family and finance a home using the proceeds from the eventual sale of the Bitcoin assets.
Schober Initially Asked For A Return Of The Stolen Funds
After the incident, Mr. Schober paid investigators to track down the teenagers, who are now studying computer science at U.K. universities.
Now, the victim has included the parents of Reading and Thompson in the complaint, requesting that they return the stolen Bitcoin or face legal action.
Schober said he wanted the parents to do the right thing by telling the accused to return the funds without taking the case to the court.
“Your son is a very intelligent young man. I do not wish for him to be robbed of his future,” he added in the requests sent in 2018 and 2019.
However, Schober did not get any response from the parents of the accused. As a result, he has decided to carry out his threats by including the parents in the case. In the complaint, Schober stated that the parents were probably aware of the activities of their children but decided to stay mute. Additionally, they did not take “reasonable steps” to prevent further issues.
Schober also said the defendants were juveniles when they committed the offense. As a result, he had decided to sue the parents for knowingly allowing the crime.
The Defendants Want The Case Dismissed
While responding to the case, the defendants did not dispute the charge but instead asked the court to dismiss the case. According to the defendants, it’s been more than two years since the alleged incident occurred, which has passed the two-and three-year statutes of limitation.
As a result, the claim by the plaintiff should not be given attention. But Schober made a counterclaim, saying that it took a long time before the teenagers were traced, adding that it took more than a year before the investigation revealed who the defendants are.
His lawyers have asked the court to deny the motion for dismissal filed by the defendant. The lawsuit stated that Mr. Schober is bringing the action against the defendants for violating both federal and state laws. He is seeking recovery from the heavy personal and financial loss he suffered.
The Electrum Atom wallet is a fork of the popular Electrum Bitcoin wallet. The filling explained further that the malware is intrusive because it is almost impossible to delete it from the computer by uninstalling the software it hides in.
The filling explained further that the malware plants itself in the Java library of the computer of the victim. After installing itself, the malware hides its presence with an encryption technique that conceals the malware’s XOR strings.
Users Asked To Stay Vigilant
The incident is another example of how malware is increasingly being used to steal cryptocurrencies from systems and servers.
Earlier this week, Proxy Logon, a crypto-interoperability platform, announced that it has retrieved over $610 million worth of crypto assets stolen when its system was hacked. The funds were retrieved after the firm contacted the hackers and pleaded with them to return the fund in exchange for other incentives.
And as the crypto market remains volatile, threat actors are taking advantage of the market to exploit vulnerable systems. In some cases, the malware is planted when the user takes an action that can enable their operations.
Users have been warned to remain vigilant and avoid taking any offer that is offered through a web link. Instead, they should download whatever software they need from a trusted platform. They should also use strong password managers that can help to keep their systems secure and safe from threat actors.