Criminal Double Spending Bitcoin ATM Users Wanted by Calgary Police Service

14 March, 2019, 21:35 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Criminal Double Spending Bitcoin ATM Users Wanted by Calgary Police Service

Four Canadian men are wanted by the police for double-spending attacks on Bitcoin ATMs.

Over half the identified transactions have been attributed to ATMs in Calgary, with the remainder spread between Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Sherwood Park, Ottawa and Hamilton.

The Calgary Police Service cybercrime team's investigation began in October 2018 when officers were tipped off to a major fraud involving transactions that target a Canadian bitcoin company.

Fifty-one of the fraudulent double-spends took place in Calgary.

Police say the suspects were committing "double-spend" attacks and would visit a bitcoin kiosk and successfully withdraw money before cancelling their transaction before the bitcoin company would process the withdrawal.

"All four suspects are described as men and are believed to have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology", according to Toronto police. This man was photographed in Calgary.

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Much of the blame has been laid at tools like replace-by-fee from Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd, which could have enabled these zero-confirmation transactions.

Each of the four suspects is accused of attacks in specific cities. The cities which fell victim to the attack include Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Sherwood Park, Ottawa and Hamilton. The tools themselves weren't created for such activities, but allow for "stuck" transaction to go through using additional fees.

The double spends, which occurred over the course of 10 days, are possible with unconfirmed transactions and tools exist to deal with this problem.

Police departments from these other cities are assisting the Calgary Police in its investigative efforts. That is why services ask for multiple confirmations for every transaction.

Some miners won't accept transactions with these output types; those miners will accept the second double-spend transaction, helping you achieve a successful double-spend.

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