Mt Gox bitcoin exchange looks into criminal complaint blames theft by hacking

FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2014 file photo, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, sitting at second right, attends a press conference at the Justice Ministry in Tokyo. The Tokyo bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox that filed for bankruptcy protection blamed theft through hacking for its losses Monday, March 3, 2014, and said it was looking into a criminal complaint.(AP Photo/Kyodo News, File) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange looks into criminal complaint, blames theft by hacking for bankruptcy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press Posted Mar 3, 2014 1:05 am MDT TOKYO – The Tokyo bitcoin exchange that filed for bankruptcy protection blamed theft through hacking for its losses Monday, and said it was looking into a criminal complaint.In an announcement posted on the Mt. Gox exchange’s website, CEO Mark Karpeles outlined the events that resulted in the company’s insolvency and said there was a “high probability” theft was behind the disappearance of bitcoins.“We will make all efforts to ensure that crimes are punished and damages recovered,” Karpeles said.He said Mt. Gox will try to resume business as a way of increasing repayments to its creditors.The online exchange was unplugged early last week as rumours of its insolvency swirled, adding to doubts about the viability of bitcoins overall. Its woes are a setback for bitcoin, a virtual currency that has grown in popularity since its 2009 creation as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.Bitcoin has also become a highly speculative form of investing. But it has comes with risks, as the Mt. Gox debacle has illustrated, partly because bitcoins are not regulated by central banks or other financial authorities.The statement said illegal access to Mt. Gox in early February abused a bug in its computer system.It also said “large discrepancies” were found between the amount of cash held in financial institutions and the amount deposited by users, meaning that about 2.8 billion yen ($28 million) was unaccounted for.Karpeles said Friday that 750,000 bitcoins deposited by users and another 100,000 belonging to the company disappeared. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices.He repeated the bitcoin numbers in Monday’s statement but said also the complete extent is not yet known.A huge number of transactions must be investigated for a variety of problems to establish the truth, Karpeles said.Mt. Gox set up a call centre at a Tokyo telephone number, open during business hours Monday through Friday, to answer any queries.Karpeles promised to co-operate with the authorities in Japan and overseas in ongoing investigations, and said an expert had been asked to investigate a possible criminal complaint.“All efforts will now be made to restore the business and recover damages to repay debts to creditors. We hope for the understanding and co-operation of all,” he said.Bitcoin proponents have insisted that Mt. Gox is an isolated case, caused by the company’s technological failures.Mt. Gox said its liabilities totalled 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), while its assets totalled 3.8 billion yen ($38 million).A class-action lawsuit was filed in a U.S. federal court in Chicago last week, which claims users had not been properly protected from the exchange’s security breach and instead were told false information, causing the loss of millions of dollars of their bitcoins.__Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at twitter.com/yurikageyama read more

Criminal investigation launched into photo of Hollandes alleged lover

first_imgFRENCH PROSECUTORS HAVE launched a criminal investigation into the publication of a photo of actress Julie Gayet, whose affair with President Francois Hollande made global waves.The preliminary probe into invasion of privacy — an offence that can be punished with a year in jail and a fine of €45,000 — follows a complaint made by the 41-year-old actress over the photo of her driving a car published by Closer magazine, prosecutor Robert Gelli said.Gayet has played a central part in the soap opera that has gripped France for weeks since she was snapped arriving for secret trysts with the president just yards from his official residence.Shortly after the scandal broke last month, Hollande split with his long-term partner Valerie Trierweiler.Gelli said the probe would focus on a picture taken of Gayet driving her car — a private place under French law — in a follow-up Closer report on the scandal published one week after the magazine first revealed the affair.The actress has also launched a civil privacy complaint against the magazine for publishing the photos that revealed her affair with Hollande, which were all taken on a public thoroughfare outside the flat where the two used to meet.Julie Gayet. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) In that case, she is seeking €50,000 in damages and €4,000 in legal costs.Gayet has kept a low profile since news of the affair broke and friends have told various media outlets that she has no desire or ambition to become first lady.She has since been nominated for a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, for playing the role of a mini-skirted adviser to a minister who uses her seductive powers to get what she wants.The divorced mother-of-two is also expected to appear on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival later in the year, having provided the voice of Grace Kelly for the French version of “Grace of Monaco”, a biopic starring Nicole Kidman.- © AFP, 2014Hollande: “I have ended my partnership with Valerie Trierweiler” > Read: French actress sues Closer magazine over reported affair with Hollande >last_img read more