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[Breaking News!] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Charged for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH

Photo for the Article - [Breaking News!] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Charged for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH

Updated at 10:36 to use the word “charged” instead of “indicted,” as Indictment is a criminal law term related to juries in the USA, not an actual term in Philippine criminal law. Thanks to Oscar Franklin Tan for the assistance.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against two Russian nationals, Vladimir Evgenevich Avdeev and Sergey Yaschuck, for stealing ₱340 million worth of XRP cryptocurrency from Coins.ph.

  • Both criminals were able to leave the country before they were charged.

What’s the significance: This case marks the first official confirmation from Coins.ph of the hack, which had occurred in October 2023. [Read more: Coins.ph Suspected of Losing $6 Million Worth of XRP in Exploit]

  • Coins.ph had remained silent about the hack despite inquiries from media reporters, including this author.
  • Coins.ph had “no comment” despite previous reports from Chainalysis, which tracked the movement of the funds, and Whitebit Exchange, which reportedly blocked the XRP deposits after receiving an email request from Coins.ph, indicating suspicious activity.

Incident details:

Photo for the Article - [Breaking News!] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Charged for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH
Screenshot of XRP Scan of the transfer of XRP from Coins. The Hacker sent the XRPs to multiple exchanges, including OKX and WhiteBit.

Vladimir Evgenevich Avdeev and Sergey Yaschuck, former consultants at Coins.ph, allegedly used their insider knowledge to breach the company’s system, according to reports from PNA News and Inquirer.

  • The two hacked into Coins.ph’s system, gaining unauthorized access and stealing 12.2 million XRP from its Bitgo hot wallets, which are then moved to an external wallet, the publications noted.
  • Coins.ph team investigated and found Yashchuck’s account was involved. Meanwhile, the company is also able to link Avdeev to suspicious logins from October 17 to 18, 2023.
    • Coins.ph had an “unexpected maintenance” period from October 16 to 18, as per the previous BitPinas report:
Photo for the Article - [Breaking News!] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Charged for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH
Screenshot of BitPinas from October 2023
  • The suspects tried to obscure the origin and destination of the stolen funds using various cryptocurrency services, complicating the investigation.
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Key Quote:

“When their tenure ended, however, they retained such access and used them without right.”

Department of Justice’s 8-page resolution, per Inquirer

Previous information:

  • WhiteBIT, “as soon as it received notification from Coins.ph”, promptly blocked 445,000 of the stolen XRP tokens and engaged blockchain analysis firms Cristal and Chainalysis to flag associated addresses.
  • As the incident became widely reported in the media, Coins.ph elected to cancel its scheduled maintenance:
Photo for the Article - [Breaking News!] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Charged for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH
Screenshot of BitPinas from October 2023

Legal action: Avdeev faces 23 counts of cybercrime, with bail set at ₱120,000 per count. Yaschuck faces three counts, with the same bail amount per count.

However, the suspects, Evgenevich and Yaschuck, has evaded capture and are currently at large.

What’s next:

  • The court proceedings will determine the fate of the accused.
  • Readers can check previous BitPinas articles regarding the incident:
    • (October 21, 2023) Coins.ph Suspected of Losing $6 Million Worth of XRP in Exploit
    • (October 25, 2023) 12 Million XRP Reportedly Stolen From Coins.ph Now Labeled in Chainalysis Products

This article is published on BitPinas: [Report] Coins.ph XRP Hackers Indicted for $6 Million Crypto Theft, Escape PH

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