Ian Balina, a cryptocurrency investor and advisor who regularly hosts a live stream to an audience of more than 100,000 subscribers, lost his Ethereum holdings in a hacking incident yesterday.
The attack took place in the middle of a stream where he was reviewing an ICO an ICO review. He was suddenly asked to sign back into his email account and discovered that he no longer had access to it.
Balina later wrote a clarification for his followers, asking them to help him track the nearly $2 million in funds that he lost as a result of this incident.
“This is how I think I got hacked. My college email was listed as a recovery email to my Gmail. I remember getting an email about it being compromised, and tried to follow up with my college security to get it resolved, but wasn’t able to get it handled in [a] fast manner and gave up on it thinking it was just an old email,” he wrote.
He added that the private keys to his wallets were stored in Evernote, which was somehow tied to both of these emails.
Some users on this forum though Balina was faking the incident so that he can avoid paying taxes right before the April 17th US tax deadline. However, we couldn’t find evidence to substantiate this beyond any doubt.
Balina’s post shows us that he stored his ETH in three different wallets. Likewise, the hacker that stole his funds sent them to another three wallets.
The hacked wallets that Balina revealed have token balances totalling over $750,000, making up just over a third of his wealth.
If this were a real hacking incident, we would expect the perpetrators to begin laundering the money soon, meaning that the tokens will disappear as they are converted into other cryptocurrencies that are much less traceable.
Near the end of last month, an analysis concluded that this is exactly what happened to the majority (now all) of the funds stolen from Coincheck.
In the future, we can expect these types of attacks to increase in number as human error continues to be the biggest factor in how people lose their funds.
Balina did not do himself any favors by being very open about his wealth, basically painting a target on his back for hackers wanting to get a piece of his pie.