One report by the blockchain analytics company Chainalysis is in the latest crypto news – revealing that there are probably two active hacker groups which have stolen $1 billion in cryptocurrency so far.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the article notes that the two entities – which are named Alpha and Beta by Chainalysis – have received the majority of the money that was lost in cryptocurrency scams.
On top of that, WSJ cites Philip Gradwell, who is the chief economist at Chainalysis, as saying that these two organizations are probably still active. Furthermore, the source admits that there is a chance for this analysis to be incorrect and that the company has not been able to determine the group’s identity.
While Alpha is “a giant, tightly controlled organization at least partly driven by non-monetary goals,” Beta is a smaller one and less organized “heavily sanctioned organization heavily focused on the money,” as the report states.
The two groups also operate differently. Alpha reportedly starts by transferring the crypto from address to address immediately, while Beta tends to wait for up to 18 months, letting the publicity fade away.
The report notes that Alpha converts about 75% of the funds within one month on average, while Beta cashes out 50% in just days after their self-imposed waiting period.
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“There is the ability to tie some of those cryptocurrency transactions either to the pharmacies in China or to the services that people are using to distribute fentanyl. Homeland Security and the DEA have actually become really good at apprehending those people.”Chainalysis actually makes software that can trace all of the transactions that are recorded on public blockchains to find the identity of the individual with the crypto funds. According to the coming altcoin news, the analytics company is among the best blockchain contractors by the US government. Back in 2018, it received $5.3 million from the US government. Their job is to try and analyze the behavior of the crypto criminals and to improve the tracking system. A week ago, Chainalysis decided to expand its real-time transaction monitoring for 10 popular cryptocurrencies including Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin since it is the favorite tool for crypto criminals. Tether was also a part of the list as a part of the game plan to take down money laundering. The company announced:
“Since 2014, Chainalysis Reactor has been recognized as the leading blockchain analytics tool, playing a critical role in combating exchange hacks, darknet markets, ransomware, and terrorist financing. Over 100 customers in 35 countries rely on Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction) to screen transactions in real-time and receive alerts on suspicious activity.”
New Bitcoin Laundering Case: $3 Million Stolen In A NY Drug-Infused Scam
“The defendants purchased steroids, precursor chemicals, and other controlled substances wholesale from China and other countries. After obtaining the chemicals and substances, they mixed, pressed, and packaged them, often under brand names they created; advertised and sold them online; and shipped them to customers in all 50 states and sixteen countries. Their customers included a college football player, an NFL football player, a professional volleyball player, fitness trainers, police officers, members of the armed services deployed overseas, body builders, drug dealers, doctors, lawyers, and a high school athletic coach.”However, what the notice fails to mention is the name of the exchange the men used to convert from crypto to cash. Even though this new Bitcoin laundering case was re-shared on many best cryptocurrency news sites, we see no link to an exchange. Some report that the scammers just hopped the coins to an intermediary wallet before depositing them on exchanges.
“Customers also made payments through Western Union. Those payments were laundered through the use of false identities, or through international wire transfers from foreign-based receivers,” the notice states.In total, there were about 10,000 orders moved to 16 countries - even though the business was primarily set up in the United States. Therefore, this is one of the biggest Bitcoin laundering cases and luckily, the scammers have been caught.
California Student Sentenced For 10 Years After BTC SIM-Swap Hack
“Ortiz was a prolific SIM swapper who targeted victims to steal cryptocurrency and to take over social media accounts with the goal of selling them for Bitcoin. After his thefts, Ortiz spent his loot lavishly – including $10,000 nights at Los Angeles clubs, hiring a helicopter to bring him and some friends to a music festival, and on Gucci luggage and clothing.”Joel Ortiz was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Santa Clara County Judge Edward Lee after hearing the victims on how they got their lives ruined when he stole all their money. The DA’s office also explained the SIM swapping method:
“Hackers call a telecom company posing as their target and claim that their SIM card has been lost, and that they would like their number to be ported to a new card. The criminals can convince phone companies that they are who they claim to be by providing stolen Social Security numbers or addresses.”Joel Ortiz also stole more than $1 million from Ross when he gained access to his cell phone and his accounts that led him to the crypto exchanges. Ross never heard about this method before until he lost all of his money. He is now urging cell phone providers to offer better security measures to help the victims as the latest cryptocurrency news reports show.
Microsoft Korea Claims The Country Is Suffering From Cryptojacking Incidents
"We have noticed that as the value of cryptocurrency rises and falls, so does the mining encounter rate."Kim Gwi-ryun from Microsoft Korea isolated the malicious practice from a different cybersecurity attack vectors that were noted in the country. For example, supply chain malware and phishing attempts were all looked into. The representative pointed out that Microsoft detected many market correlations in the fluctuating prevalence cryptojacking and outlined:
‘’As the report notes, stealth cryptojacking is difficult to detect and largely manifests itself in compromised system performance due to the intensive drain on processing power that crypto mining presents.’’As DC Forecasts has previously reported in the altcoin news, cryptojacking became a widely used criminal activity to make a lot of money. For instance, two Romanian cybercriminals were convicted after a lengthy joint investigation by the United States Federal Investigation Bureau and the Romanian National Police for using this method to make extra money similar as to what the tech giant Microsoft Korea warns about. Also, an AT&T report from March shows that cryptojacking is one of the largest objectives of the hackers who are mostly targeting businesses’ cloud infrastructures and, especially in a bear market. The same month a new Trojan malware appeared for Android phones which targets crypto app users that have an installed Coinbase or BitPay app on their phones. Microsoft Korea is thus working hard to prevent similar cryptojacking attacks.
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