According to the Chainalysis service, after a 6-year lull, a hacker under the pseudonym “Blockchain Bandit” began moving about $90 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen since 2016. Experts discovered the transfer of 51,000 ETH and 470 BTC from the cybercriminal’s old address to a new one. Experts suggested that the bandit transferred funds due to the recent jump in the rate of cryptocurrencies.
The hacker has been dubbed the "Blockchain Bandit" for emptying 10,000 Ethereum wallets protected by weak private keys in a process called "Ethercombing".
The security analyst said he discovered the hacker by accident while investigating private key generation. He also noted that the bandit created a node for automatically stealing funds from weakly protected wallets. The researchers identified 732 weak keys associated with a total of 49,060 transactions. However, it is not clear how many of them the bandit used.
To avoid such theft, Chainalysis advised users to use well-known and trusted wallets, and to store large amounts of cryptocurrencies on hardware wallets whenever possible.