Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has helped the Cyber Police of Ukraine take down a large-scale money laundering network on the darknet.
According to a joint press release issued by Ukrainian authorities and the exchange, the cybercriminals distributed ransomware and washed hacker funds to the tune of $42 million over a period of two years. The Ukrainian Cyber Police reportedly managed to seize $200,000 in computer equipment, weapons, ammunition, cash and “digital evidence” linking a trio of suspects to the operation.
CoinDesk reports that Department Chief Oleksandr Hrynchak cited Binance’s fraud detection and crypto tracing techniques in a press release. In its press release, the exchange revealed its Binance Sentry team and Security Data Science team build upon these anti-fraud systems and scale investigations.
It added it applies engineering techniques to identify suspicious patterns associated with illicit activities via the Bulletproof Exchanger Project One, which identities transactions between Binance itself and high-risk entities, including “Bulletproof Exchangers.”
These, Binance details, are cryptocurrency platforms that serve as cash-out points for those involved in illicit activities. They are “well-known for their lenient know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies. “
In conjunction with regulatory tech startup TRM Labs, Binance analyzed data that revealed these exchangers have a “high proportion of transaction volume linked to high-risk categories such as ransomware attacks, exchange hacks, and darknet-related activities.” After allocating more resources to dive deeper into researching these “Bulletproof Exchangers,” Binance managed to aid authorities.
The document reads:
Suspicious activity detected and analyzed by the Binance Sentry team, in collaboration with the Cyber Police of Ukraine, led to the identification and arrest of a cybercriminal organization responsible for a ransomware campaign and the laundering of more than $42 million in cryptocurrencies over the last two years.
This appears to be Binance’s first successful collaboration under the initiative to detect and disrupt illicit crypto actors. The firm noted it’s working on applying big data techniques to further its security research and investigations.
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