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Coincheck targeted by suspicious traffic for weeks before NEM heist

Bogus email to employees may have delivered virus that allowed for system hack

Suspicious communications between Tokyo-based Coincheck and servers outside Japan went on for weeks before a $542 million cryptocurrency theft, a new finding suggests. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- Suspicious communications between the computers of Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck and unidentified servers outside Japan began weeks before the Jan. 26 theft of 58 billion yen ($542 million) of the cryptocurrency NEM, a new finding suggests, a person close to the police investigation said.

The finding suggests someone hacked into the Coincheck system via employee email and stole a "private key" necessary to transfer NEM.

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