Learned coding at age 8, bought drugs with first take, says hacker

In a voluntary statement made to the police, Srikrishna, the 26-year-old hacker at the center of the bitcoin scam in Karnataka, made a baffling series of claims about his time in cybercrime.

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Srikrishna aka Sriki, the 26-year-old hacker at the center of the bitcoin scam in Karnataka, claimed he learned coding when he was only eight years old and hacked into a crypto exchange. currency five years ago with his team.

Srikrishna was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police on November 17, 2020 for drug trafficking. He had bought drugs from international drug dealers on the dark web using bitcoins. The hacker during questioning confessed to hacking and stealing three bitcoin exchanges, 14 corporate websites and a government portal. The CCB had recovered 31 bitcoins worth 9 crore from his possession when he was arrested in 2020.

In a “voluntary” statement given to the CCB, which is now part of the indictment against him, Srikrishna made a series of puzzling claims about his time in cybercrime.

While the police are still verifying the allegations made in the statement, Srikrishna’s lawyers objected to the allegations in an indictment filed with a local court in Bengaluru.


In the statement, Srikrishna claims to have learned Java, the software programming language, when he was in class 4.

“In class 4, I learned the basics of web mining, Java, standby engineering and wrote my first bot for a game called RuneScape. It was my first attempt at reverse engineering obscured games and binary exploitation, ”he said in the statement.

Read also : Karnataka bitcoin scam: Cong MP asks for details of defendant Ramesh’s ‘seizure’

He said he quickly joined an Internet Relay Chat channel, used by a group of unethical hackers, from where he learned of the hack. He gradually learned the ropes of kiddie script, database basics, SQL injections, local file inclusions, remote file inclusions, remote code executions, shells, application exploitation. Web and source code analysis during his school years.

In his statement, Srikrishna says that shortly after learning the skills of website hacking, he was promoted to group moderator and IRC network administrator when he was in class 9. Around the same time. , he was also framed. by international hackers in financial hacking.

He says after graduation he was making hundreds of dollars every month hacking an online game with a Sydney co-hacker. He was introduced to bitcoin during his middle school graduation and learned that the price of bitcoin is $ 100 per coin.

Stating that he first used bitcoins to buy narcotics on the darknet market, he says: “Due to the pseudo-anonymous nature of bitcoin, a person by the name of ‘Ross Ulbricht’ created the first market. from the darknet I originally imported drugs from. in India for personal consumption. This market was called Silk Road 1.0. I have ordered several packages in two years which have all been successfully cleared.

In his statement, Srikrishna claims he was a drug addict at the age of 17 and fled to the Himalayas with a friend called Ritvik, eventually landing in Badrinath (Uttarakhand). The duo were found by police and taken to Bengaluru after their parents filed missing persons files.

He says he learned more about bitcoin trading while pursuing a BSC in computer science at Eindhoven University of Technology in Amsterdam.

He claimed that Bitfinex was his first bitcoin exchange hack and that he was the first person to hack it, stealing 120,000 bitcoins worth $ 72 million in August 2016.

Police say Srikrishna who gave a list of all his hacking cases – from booking movie tickets and IPLs to helping his friends with proxy presence by hacking the university’s website – almost bragged about the crimes as if they were key stages in his life.

“Like most criminals he wants to be famous and he wants to be known as, in his own words, a cool hacker, the statement at one point started to sound bragging. We are still unable to verify a large number of claims made by them, where it claims to have hacked websites and servers. Even if he knows the consequences of admitting to having hacked these sites, he can’t help it, ”a Bengaluru police officer told Hindustan Times.

While his first bitcoin hack was Bitfinex, the second involved a phishing attack “which resulted in two Israeli hackers working for the military gaining access to employees’ computers …”

Amid allegations against his government for not taking enough action in the bitcoin scam, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai on Friday held a meeting with former chief minister BS Yediyurappa and a then met with BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel for about an hour.

Read also : Amid Karnataka Bitcoin Row, Hacker Srikrishna Arrested for Brawl

The opposition Congress alleged that the BJP government was trying to protect the “influential politicians” involved in the Bitcoin scam. The party alleged that the scam may actually involve more money as has been found so far, as illegal transactions worth 5,240 crore took place in just two days – December 1, 2020 and April 14, 2021.

Congress also asked why Srikrishna has been in detention for over 100 days and yet no action has been taken against him. The party has also called for a Supreme Court supervised investigation into the matter.

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