India-based bitcoin exchange Coinsecure announced yesterday that 438.318 bitcoins worth $3.3 million were stolen from its service, allegedly due to the actions of a rogue employee.
According to a statement on the company's website, the funds were lost as a result of the exposure of private keys, the cryptographic code that unlocks and moves blockchain-based assets, by the chief security officer of the company, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, in an attempt to distribute bitcoin gold (BTG), to its customers.
In a FIR (first information report) with the cybercrime unit in New Delhi, the company says, "We feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident."
Speaking to CoinDesk, CEO of Coinsecure, Mohit Kalra, said the theft occurred at no fault of the company, rather "It was our CSO's system which was compromised as he claims. The procedures he followed was never supposed to be done online in the first place."
The company has also asked the cybercrime unit to seize Saxena's passport to prevent him from absconding.
Speaking on the website, Coinsecure asked its customers to stand by the company in its efforts to recover the lost funds. Speaking to CoinDesk, Kalra called this as an "unfortunate event".
He told CoinDesk:
"We are working day and night to resolve this. It might take time to recover the lost funds, but our customers will be indemnified from our company's funds and we will relaunch much stronger."
Crypto assets via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.