Audacious escape by cybercurrency criminal like a movie plot.
The alleged criminal mastermind behind the theft of 600 bitcoin mining computers in Iceland escaped from custody, and wrangled his was to Sweden on the same jet that was carrying the Icelandic prime minister.
Sindri Thor Stefansson was one of 22 suspects initially arrested over the recent theft of 600 bitcoin-mining computers. In a move reminiscent of a blockbuster film, the ticket he used had another person’s name on it, and he reportedly managed to board the flight without having to show his passport.
Not a flight risk…
“Swedish police spokesman Stefan Dangardt says no arrest has been made in Sweden, but Icelandic police have briefed them on the situation and issued an international arrest warrant”, the Associated Press reported. The English-language Reykjavik Grapevine reported further that “Páll Winkel, the Director of the Icelandic Prison Service, told [Icelandic broadcaster] RÚV that there were no indications that Sindri was a flight risk”.
Prime Minister’s plane
The plane that Stefansson took was reported to have been carrying the Icelandic prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, to a meeting with India’s prime minister in Stockholm on Tuesday.
The Grapevine also noted: “People do occasionally break out of prison in Iceland, but they usually do not get very far on account of it being an island nation with an unforgiving wilderness. Sindri, however, managed to accomplish the unheard of”.
Iceland and Bitcoin
Mining bitcoin successfully, takes a lot of computers and usually lots and lots of electricity. The cold climate and and the way Iceland generates huge amounts of its electricity lends itself to the cheap and efficient running of data-centers, and especially crypto mining. Large bitcoin enterprises have been flocking to Iceland in recent months to take advantage of the country’s expansive geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. According to the Washington Post, Iceland produces around 80 percent of its power through hydroelectric plants that utilize hydrothermal vents.
The theft, from several data-centers located in Iceland, took place in four separate (although most likely perpetrated by the same people) break ins through December 2017 and January of this year.