Israel: Police Arrest Brothers Suspected of Partaking in Bitfinex Hack and Crypto Phishing Scams


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According to a June 21, 2019, article by local crime news outlet Posta, Israeli police has arrested two brothers named Eli Gigi and Assaf Gigi on the suspicion of partaking in cryptocurrency phishing attacks and getting involved in the infamous 2016 Bitfinex hack.

Brothers Nabbed

The cyber unit of the Israeli police force has nabbed two suspects from Jerusalem, Israel, in connection with the hack of major cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016. Further, the detained are also accused of committing crypto-related phishing attacks.

According to the police, the Gigi brothers had amassed “tens of millions of dollars” by creating fake websites of popular cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. The accused used to share links to these websites on crypto-related Telegram groups and other communities on the Internet which directed victims to phishing web addresses dressed to perfection under the veil of a legitimate website.

The report states that once the oblivious investor clicked the bogus link and submitted their private keys, the siblings would quickly transfer the victim’s digital assets to their own wallets.

Per the report, earlier this week the police conducted a raid on Eli Gigi’s house where it was able to get its hands on his cryptocurrency wallet. During the raid, the police also found two luxury cars belonging to the brothers in crime.



Most notably, the Gigi brothers are accused of being responsible for the 2016 Bitfinex hack which saw almost 120,000 bitcoin (BTC) stolen from the exchange platform.

A Cross Border Affair

The police said that the majority of Gigi brother’s victims were U.S. and European citizens and as a result, the case is currently being investigated by cyber units of police forces across a number of countries. They added that the mission of the across-the-border investigation exercise is to retrieve the missing funds.

Speaking of the accused, it’s interesting to note that Eli Gigi is a graduate of a top-tier technological unit of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) which underlines the accused’s outstanding academic prowess.

In tangential news, BTCManager reported on June 23, 2019, how security researchers at Google and Coinbase had discovered a zero-day exploit on the Mozilla Firefox browser that could have allowed a cybercriminal to remotely execute program codes on a victim’s computer system.

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