Coindesk seems to have access to new information:
"Once the malicious software was able to obtain financial information from its victims, the four suspects would then steal money from the bank accounts. They then used a bitcoin exchange that they set up called FBTC Exchange in order to launder some of the stolen cash into euros."
Unfortunately it's not clear where coindesk got this information from.
Today I learned that FBTC Exchange did require identification. An article also indicates that things might not be as clear cut.
The article calls one of the owners a "hackers" and speaks of "the money he stole", before we have a conviction (probably not even an indictment). Yet the article also says:
- "L. was working on plans to install Bitcoin POS at companies."
- FBTC Exchange cooperated with a bank to prevent fraud
If this is true it looks like FBTC Exchange was indeed trying to run a legal business. A "hacker" would also know how to conceal his personal info and not put it into the WHOIS database. Running a bitcoin exchange without having the proper paperwork is one thing. Actively cracking computers and wiring money into your own exchange is something completely different.
An article from yesterday mentions that the Tor network was used for the fraudulent actions, but this means that the bad guys maybe simply be untraceable from that end. The article also talks about TorMail which has been offline for two months.
Today I received an email saying that another exchange platform has apparently been closed. FBTC Exchange is a Dutch company based in the Netherlands. Apparently their servers are down since monday, trading certainly seems to have stopped has stopped, and the owners seem to have been arrested (Google English).
The accusations sound similar to what happened at bitcoin24. Malware, fraudulent bank transactions, damage possibly one million EUR. This should be a reminder to everybody that exchanges should follow existing policies like KYC. If they ignore them they are at least guilty of enabling money laundering.
However, in this case it sounds like the operators of the exchange themselves were using malware to transfer funds into the exchange.
If you are a victim and looking for more information, the WHOIS information looks like it could really be one of the owners, I didn't do more research in this direction. This info could be helpful for your lawyer.