FBI investigation against hackers arrives in Brazil and U.S. Secret Service asks Federal Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Bitcoin exchanges in Brazil
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has called on the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) to possibly conduct searches and seizures of Bitcoin and cryptomoedas in exchanges in Brazil, due to an ongoing international investigation.
According to documents shared with the Cointelegraph, hackers would have initiated in 2019 a phishing campaign orchestrated through a fake website that mimicked the portal of a U.S. exchange of cryptomoks.
Thus, users of these American exchanges accessed the fake exchange portal and placed their credentials and were then surprised with an error message, however, in possession of the credentials the hackers accessed the accounts and transferred the cryptoactives.
„Notice of fact filed from a letter sent by the United States Secret Service (FBI) communicating the existence of an investigation related to fraud through false bitcoin exchange advertisements, using the name of an American company that acts as a broker of cryptomorphs,“ highlights the MPF document.
Still according to the FBI, the criminals would have forwarded the stolen cryptomites, totaling about US$ 2.5 million, to Bitcoin exchanges in Brazil.
„The fraudsters would have stolen the credentials of the company’s users and, according to reports, the total loss to customers was US$ 2,500,000.00 (two million five hundred thousand dollars). According to reports, some bitcoin exchange companies in Brazil were identified as receiving illegitimate transactions,“ the document states.
In a first analysis, the MPF declared that the case would not fall within the Federal scope because it would not involve crimes against the Union or the national financial system.
„The officiating Attorney promoted the decline of attributions to the State Public Ministry, understanding that the facts narrated do not constitute an offense or damage to goods, services or direct and specific interests of the Union, its autarchic entities or public companies“.
However, in a review of the decision the MPF declared that cryptomaniac companies began to operate in the financial market by raising funds from third parties and intermediating cryptomaniac on the fringes of the inspection. Acting like this, these companies act as true financial institutions before the capital market.
„The absence of regulation as to transactions involving cryptomorphs does not disfigure the activity of management and intermediation of financial resources practiced by companies, which is why, being found to be acting as a financial institution without legal authorization, can characterize the crime defined in art. 16 of Law No. 7492/86“.
Thus the MPF asked that the investigation should follow and the Brazilian companies that were identified as recipients of the stolen cryptomorphs should be analyzed.
„Only by deepening the investigations will it be possible to have the exact dimension of the facts, the actual operations and the alleged crimes committed by the representatives of the said companies, being possible, after preliminary proceedings, to gather minimum indications of crimes that, in thesis, may reach goods, services or Union interest (CF, art. 109)“, concludes the document.