15 Arrested in China for Allegedly Bribing Internet Cafe to Mine Crypto

Chinese authorities arrested fifteen men suspected of corrupting an internet café administrator to mine cryptocurrency.

Local crypto industry news outlet 8BTC reported on Sept. 3 that police in Henyang, a city in south central China’s Hunan province, arrested the man for cryptojacking. Over 9,000 computer administrators were reportedly involved in helping the unauthorized mining operation.

A profitable endeavor

The cryptocurrency mined by the suspects in the four months ending in July has been sold for over a hundred million yuan (about $14 million). Local police received a report suggesting that many local Internet cafes were running cryptojacking malware.

The findings of the preliminary investigation suggest that the malware has been developed by a network technology company in Zhengzhou, and the company’s head is surnamed Zhang. 

Zhang is suspected of personally bribing the internet cafe administrators to let him install the malware on their computers. All of the 15 men allegedly involved are now under arrest and the investigation is still ongoing.

Not the first mining-related arrest

In July, police in China also arrested 22 suspects allegedly involved in illegal crypto mining activity that stole electricity worth about $3 million.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of August, cybersecurity company McAfee Labs has released its August 2019 threat report, which notes a 29% increase in cryptojacking campaigns and ransomware attacks in Q1 2019.