It is believed that criminals used a fake Wi-Fi to access their victim’s account and steal his Bitcoin.
Austrian police have said that cyber-thieves transferred Bitcoin worth more than €100,000 from their victim’s account. It is believed that they accomplished this while the man was logged into a public Wi-Fi network in the restaurant.
Local police said in a statement that the incident occurred on Wednesday when the Bitcoins were moved. It took place at around 11.30am and the coins were moved to an “unknown and un-traceable account”.
This happened after an unidentified 36-year old logged in to the Wi-Fi, south-east of the city of Innsbruck to check the value of his digital currency. In a summary of the incident, police added that it remained unclear if the victim’s account was already hacked before he logged on to the unsecured network.
According to the police statement, an unknown assailant possibly gained access to the victim’s network through a fake WiFi network. This enabled the perpetrator to then gain access to the man’s laptop and transferred all the Bitcoins to an unknown, non-traceable account.
It is believed that the 36-year-old victim suffered damage in the lower six-digit euro range. Bitcoin is a popular form of digital currency which based on the blockchain also known as the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The digital currency is mined using computing power and its value has spiked in value over the past year.
For digital users, cryptocurrency, which comes in various forms, is often the target of hackers and cybercriminals. Despite this, Austria has started embracing the digital currency technology. In July, Austrian Post teamed up with cryptocurrency exchange, Bitpanda.
The joint venture enabled customers to have easy access to digital cash. This happened at more than 1,800 branches across the country. But despite the growing interest in the currency, many nations have moved ahead to ban the currency altogether.
This could be due to the extremely volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market as financial institutions remain concerned about the unpredictability of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Just, last week, Bank of Austria governor Ewald Nowotny said financial institutions were asking whether legislators or central banks should intervene.
He was referring to China and the county’s ban on Bitcoin cryptocurrency as the government believed it to be fraudulent. Nowotny was speaking at a financial conference in Florence. In mid-September, the dealing of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies changed in China when the government shut down operations altogether.
This followed mounting pressure from Beijing authorities. Earlier this week, cryptocurrency start-up, Tether confirmed that it had suffered a major hacking attack. Users lost more than $30 million in cryptocurrencies when it was stolen by criminals.