Technology

FBI subpoenas Brink co-founder for CoreDev Atlanta attendee data



Mike Schmidt, the co-founder of Brink, recently disclosed that he received a subpoena from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year, requiring him to submit personal information of attendees from the CoreDev Atlanta event held in October 2022. The subpoena was part of the ongoing investigation into the theft of Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr’s cryptocurrency holdings.

Due to a non-disclosure order, Schmidt was unable to share details about the subpoena until the order expired. In his social media post, he explained that the FBI initially requested a significant amount of information, but after some pushback, the agent agreed to a more limited subset of data.

Schmidt provided the FBI with the full names, GitHub usernames, and email addresses of the event attendees. He emphasized that he does not have any further details about the investigation or whether the subpoena was targeted at a specific suspect or part of a general information-gathering process.

Interestingly, Schmidt pointed out the irony of the situation, stating, “The guy who wants to tell you how to use Bitcoin couldn’t even secure his own Bitcoin and, as a consequence, got everyone at a conference he attended doxxed by the FBI.”

Compromised keys for Bitcoin holdings

The theft in question involves Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr, who revealed in 2023 that he had lost nearly all of his Bitcoin holdings after his Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) key was compromised on December 31, 2022. The hackers managed to steal over 200 BTC, which would be worth more than $14.2 million at today’s Bitcoin price of $71,000.

Cryptocurrency theft is still rampant since the decentralized and permissionless nature of blockchain means that — unlike a bank wire transfer — there is almost never a way to reverse a transaction once it takes place. Consequently, after assets a transferred due to a hack or scam the victim usually has no way to recover them.

Major crypto personalities and companies are often successfully targeted, with two platforms tied to Tron (TRX) founder Justin Sun being hit last year. While the resources dedicated to hacking individuals — with the exception of particularly wealthy or exposed ones — are considerably smaller, it is still important to learn how to identify and avoid crypto scams as well as hacks.