How the parents of two teenage hackers are paying karma after their sons stole $1 million USD in Bitcoin

Andrew Schober is one of many cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have been the victim of one of many variants of fraud related to this technology. A few years ago, the Colorado resident downloaded the Electrum Atom Bitcoin wallet from Reddit, unaware that this tool was hiding a dangerous malware variant.

The file downloaded by Schober included a piece of clipboard hijacking malware, which allowed a hacker (hackers, actually) to steal more than 15 units of Bitcoin, equivalent to almost $800,000 USD according to the current exchange rate.

The victim did not stay with his arms crossed, since after years and an investment of thousands of dollars, Schober claims to have discovered those responsible for the theft of his virtual assets. According to a recently filed lawsuit, the hackers are Benedict Thompson and Oliver Read, who are currently studying computer science but were just teenagers when the robbery occurred.

Because they were underage at the time of the incident, Schober decided to sue the parents of both individuals for $1 million USD as compensation for the damage caused by the then-teens.

According to the lawsuit, “the deployment of malware against Schober, and the subsequent theft of the cryptocurrency, was a severe blow to the plaintiff, for which he deserves to be compensated.” The document also claims that stolen cryptocurrencies accounted for around 90% of his assets at the time, so the attack left him in a critical situation.

This was not the first step taken by Schober, as the victim tried to fix things out of court by offering a deal to the defendants’ lawyers: “Apparently your son has been using malware to steal money,” schober’s letter mentions, which also claimed to tell evidence of the attacks, including data on the use of the e-wallet. About Electrum Atom, cybersecurity specialists point out that this is a fork of Electrum Bitcoin, one of the most popular cryptocurrency wallets, so it is easily employed by threat actors.

Obtaining the desired compensation will not be easy for Schober, since the defense of the alleged attackers ensures that the charges filed have already expired, so the lawsuit should be dismissed. Still, no one seems to have any intentions to deny that the two individuals did steal the cryptocurrency. 

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.