September 30, 2022

Meet The Two Alleged Bitfinex Hackers: Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan

6 min read

The recovery of the taken BTC from the 2016 Bitfinex hack was the news of the day. That story’s lead characters, though, they’re legends in the making. You can already inform that Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan will live forever in meme form. The story is so not likely that lots of people in the Bitcoin neighborhood are uncertain that it took place as reported.

Related Reading|Bitcoin Stolen From Bitfinex Hack Moved For The First Time In Five Years

Could this tech business owner and this writer/ rapper have hacked a cryptocurrency exchange? Or are they just the money launderers for a larger operation? And, did they truly conserve the personal keys to billions in BTC on the cloud? Or were they set up? Is law enforcement playing tricks on the public or are they the heroes of the day?

Think of being a hacker (or money launderer) and keeping the unencrypted private keys to $3.5 billion of #Bitcoin in an online account connected to your name

Mind blown 🤯

— — Alistair Milne( @alistairmilne) February 8, 2022 We can’t respond to those questions at the minute. What we can do is check out the Bitfinex hackers’ social networks to get a sense of who they are.

However first, a summary. What’s The Bitfinex Hack All About? And, Why Is It Relevant Now?

The “Statement Of Facts” offered at the justice.gov site does an excellent job setting the phase:

” In or around August 2016, a hacker breached Victim VCE’s security systems and penetrated its facilities. While inside Victim VCE’s network, the hacker was able to start over 2,000 unapproved BTC deals, in which around 119,754 BTC was transferred from Victim VCE’s wallets4 to an outdoors wallet (Wallet 1CGA4s5 ). At the time of the breach, 119,754 BTC was valued at around $71 million. Due to the boost in the value6 of BTC given that the breach, the stolen funds are valued at over $4.5 billion since February 2022.”

That cash ended up in a Bitcoin address associated with Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, however notification that law enforcement never states they’re the Bitfinex hackers. In truth, the couple has actually just been charged with money laundering. However, what’s the story here? Our sister site Bitcoinist does a great task thickening the plot:

” The suspects were jailed in Manhattan, New York. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco called the arrest, one of the largest in terms of financial seizure in history.

In that sense, the federal government authorities specified that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not a “safe house” for lawbreakers. The declaration contradicts others made by public authorities, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, which have stressed the declared use of crypto in criminal activities. Monaco added:

” In a futile effort to maintain digital privacy, the offenders washed stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions. Thanks to the meticulous work of police, the department as soon as again showed how it can and will follow the cash, no matter what type it takes.”

Think of resting on $4,000,000,000 in stolen bitcoin, knowing you'' re being hunted by nation states, and deciding that NYC is a wise place to hole up.

—– Jameson Lopp (@lopp) February 8, 2022

Who Is Dutch Ilya Lichtenstein?

Reportedly, Ilya Lichtenstein is a tech business owner and YCombinator alum. In his Twitter, he defines himself as a “Human angel investor, web3 developer, serial entrepreneur.” In his most important tweet, Dutch slams a New York Magazine post by stating, “Oh god no. Numerous words about posering on Twitter, nearly nothing about how to protect your keys, send a deal or get a Defi loan.”

Oh god no. A lot of words about posering on Twitter, nearly absolutely nothing about how to secure your keys, send out a deal or get a Defi loan. @atsaraharrison Why??? https://t.co/vTU7w7xfsm

—– Dutch Lichtenstein (@unrealdutch) November 30, 2021

Does that appear like the Bitfinex hacker to you? Or, more notably, does that look like a person who would save his personal type in the cloud? We would not understand. Nevertheless, the justice.gov report states:

” On January 31, 2022, police got to Wallet 1CGA4s by decrypting a file conserved to LICHTENSTEIN’s cloud storage account,8 which had been gotten pursuant to a search warrant. The file consisted of a list of 2,000 virtual currency addresses, together with matching personal keys. Blockchain analysis validated that almost all of those addresses were straight linked to the hack.”

Bitfinex hackers… … LOL … yeah sure pic.twitter.com/rFKwm3Eico

—– Psychedelic El arto (@PsychedelicBart) February 8, 2022

In any case, in a short article entitled “Rethinking the Ethereum Wallet for Mass Adoption,” in the “People are frightened of hackers and malware” area, Ilya Lichtenstein says:

Related Reading|All Altcoin Innovations Will “Ultimately Benefit Bitcoin”: Bitfinex Whale

” The greatest threat to mass adoption lacks a doubt, security. It’s still way too hard to appropriately secure plain text private secrets without making a mistake along the way. We can not expect traditional users to be security experts in a world where the most common password is still “123456”. Security requires to be integrated in to the product by style, not left up the user.”

BTC price chart for 02/09/2022 on Oanda|Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Who Is Heather Morgan AKA Razzlekhan?

Supposedly, Heather Morgan is an effective copywriter who grew her own organization without outdoors investors. On her Twitter page, she specifies herself as a “Serial entrepreneur. SaaS Investor. Razzlekhan. Surrealist Artist, Rapper & & Fashion Designer with synesthesia. Likewise Forbes writer.”

Her most essential tweet states: “Good guiding compass to live by: How much of a POSITIVE IMPACT does your life have on others, including society & & nature?

” Great assisting compass to live by:

How much of a POSITIVE IMPACT does your life have on others, including society & & nature?– Heather R Morgan (rzk.eth) (@HeatherReyhan) January 15, 2022

The reason she’s much more fascinating than her partner is her rap modify ego, Razzlekhan. Her videos are not available on YouTube any longer, but you can still listen to the songs on Soundcloud. And, some Twitter users recorded clips of the videos prior to they disappeared:

This is who took 120k from the bitfinex hack https://t.co/CixE4XLbzj pic.twitter.com/Qm4dBeDq0I

—– RSN (@puttinyadown) February 8, 2022

Listed below, there’s another track. Above, there’s a sample of the couple’s Tik Tok content:

pic.twitter.com/LQCNHUiLEf

—– Warren Buckets 🔺 ( @shillingbears) February 8, 2022

More fascinating yet, though, is Morgan’s career as a Forbes writer. In her article entitled “Experts Share Tips To Protect Your Business From Cybercriminals,” the supposed Bitfinex hacker states:

” Companies that didn’t already have actually distributed groups or work from home policies have actually struggled to shift to going completely remote amidst the pandemic.

Cybercriminals and scammers are making the most of this unexpected interruption, leading to a spike in frauds and cybercrime.”

Secure your business and customers from cyber criminal offenses. BitGo'' s Chief Compliance Officer, Matt Parrella, discusses methods with @HeatherReyhan. Specialists Share Tips To Protect Your Business From Cybercriminals by means of @forbes https://t.co/MaNzge6vKq

—– BitGo (@BitGo) June 18, 2020

Crazy music aside, does that sound like an individual who would wash cash through gift cards signed up under her real name? We wouldn’t know, however the justice.gov report says:

” Records revealed that parts of the $500 present card were then redeemed through three deals for personal items by means of the Walmart iPhone application. Each of the 3 redemptions were performed online under MORGAN’s name, using among MORGAN’s email addresses, and supplying MORGAN and LICHTENSTEIN’s house address for shipment.”

What Does The Twitterati Think About The Alleged Bitfinex Hackers?

Bitcoin financier Alistair Milne concerns the couple’s Opsec, “Imagine being a hacker (or money launderer) and keeping the unencrypted personal keys to $3.5 billion of Bitcoin in an online account connected to your name.” Bitcoin security specialist Jameson Lopp questions their choice of area, “Imagine sitting on $4,000,000,000 in stolen bitcoin, knowing you’re being hunted by nation states, and deciding that NYC is a smart location to hole up.”

Included Image: The alleged Bitfinex hackers from this tweet|Charts by TradingView