#CyberFLASH: Ottawa bitcoin exchange defrauded of $100,000 in cyber currency

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An Ottawa-based bitcoin exchange has been defrauded of more than $100,000 worth of the cyber currency in a heist that was anything but sophisticated.

The Ottawa police are investigating an Oct. 1, 2013, incident at Canadian Bitcoins, when someone opened an online chat session with a technical support worker at Granite Networks, now owned by Rogers Communications, and claimed to be Canadian Bitcoins owner James Grant.

He claimed to have a problem with a server and asked the attendant to reboot it into recovery mode, allowing him to bypass security on the server.

“It’s ridiculous,” said the real James Grant when asked about the incident. “There was absolutely zero verification of who it actually was.”

According to a text copy of the chat session obtained by the Citizen, at no point during the nearly two-hour-long conversation was the caller asked to verify his identity. After being asked, the technical support worker gained access to Grant’s locked server pen, plugged in a laptop and then manually gave the fraudster access to Canadian Bitcoins servers, where he cleaned out a wallet containing 149.94 bitcoins, valued at around $100,000.

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