Restaurateur Ole Hubert Strecker sues over HK$2.8m hacking attack
A Danish restaurateur who lost €270,000 (HK$2.8 million) in a Christmas hacking attack is suing two Hong Kong companies he claims handled the money.
Ole Hubert Strecker has filed a writ in the city's High Court against Legend Aim and Brilliance Impex, citing the findings of a security company brought in to investigate after he discovered the mystery transactions.
Strecker, described in the writ as the owner of nine Copenhagen restaurants, said the money was withdrawn in three transactions on December 27 last year.
The thefts came to light after the holidays on January 2, when he was contacted by the bank to be told that some of his accounts were in debit.
He went online and found that €90,000 had been transferred from his business account to an account in Hong Kong. Strecker said in the writ that he did not make that transaction, nor did he instruct any of his staff to make it.
He later found that further transfers of €90,000 had been made from two personal accounts, the writ says. Strecker then contracted forensic computer analysts in Denmark to investigate how the unauthorised transactions had been made. After discovering that it was a cyber crime, he made a report to Hong Kong police on January 7, the writ says.
Strecker had earlier sought a court order in Hong Kong to ask the bank the funds were transferred to, HSBC, to disclose information about the recipients.
The bank revealed that €269,891 was credited to Legend Aim's account on January 2 and transferred to Brilliance Impex's account the same day.
"[Strecker] is entitled at common law or in equity to trace and recover from [Legend Aim] and [Brilliance Impex] all money misappropriated from [Strecker]," the writ says.
He claimed the two companies assisted whoever caused the unauthorised transfers to be made and asked the court to order the two companies to return the money.
Legend Aim and Brilliance Impex are both registered as companies in Hong Kong. The nature of their business is not known.