A young man added a near-lethal dose of narcotics to his father’s tea to take away his mobile phone and access a $400,000 bitcoin account. This was reported this week by The Washington Post, which collected the testimonies of the story that almost ended in tragedy.
According information, the 24-year-old American, who abused drugs such as benzodiazepines, Adderall and cocaine, decided to apply the “$5 wrench attack”, given his father’s refusal to sell the bitcoins. It is known as “$5 wrench attack” when the criminal physically attacks or threatens the victim to give him access to his cryptocurrencies.
The young man had convinced his father to invest in Bitcoin, so he decided to create a joint account with his son for USD 100,000 in an exchange. Thanks to bull run (bull market) of bitcoin in 2017, managed to collect profits of USD 350 thousand in 2018. However, the father decided to block his son’s access to the funds and establish the two Step Authentication, when his drug problems worsened.
The young man was “obsessed” with selling the bitcoins once the price drop in 2018 was prolonged, as the father commented to the American media. “No, you have to stop using drugs,” he told his son.
In response, the young man, named Liam Ghershony, planned to break into his father’s mobile phone and use two-step authentication to access the bitcoin account, adding benzodiazepine to his tea. Once he achieved his goal, he transferred the holdings to an account under his control and converted two-thirds of the bitcoins to ether (the Ethereum token).
But the amount of drug used by Ghershony in the attack put his father’s life in danger., who spent two days passed out in his apartment before being found by police. The man was hospitalized for four days to recover from “severe dehydration and acute organ dysfunction.”
Ghershony was sentenced to a 20-year “suspended sentence.” In addition, he had to spend 125 days in prison and undergo a drug and mental health rehabilitation program. “I will carry that with me: the guilt and the shame. And I want to embrace that as I launch into recovery,” he said.
Are “$5 Wrench Attacks” On The Rise Against Bitcoiners?
CriptoNoticias has reviewed several violent attacks against bitcoin owners. A case from 2019 accounts for the attack on a merchant in the Netherlands, who he was kidnapped and tortured into handing over the private keys to his bitcoin wallets.
Recently, a case was reported where a date made through the social network for couples, Tinder, which ended in the theft of bitcoins. In this case, the victim was also drugged to break access to her personal accounts.
It remains critical to use all available security measures to protect access to cryptocurrencies. Using wallets where you have control of your private keys is always a good idea. Also the use of multi-signature wallets. Although the most relevant recommendations are to educate yourself, investigate and use common sense. Also, it is always important to remember not to share sensitive information, such as your wallet seed or password, with a third party or anyone you do not trust.