Jump to content

For Some Cyber Criminals, Using Bitcoin Doesn’t Pay


straycat19

Recommended Posts

Cyptocurrency is a prized tool for many cybercriminals, allowing them to profit anonymously from the sale of illegal goods and services, or from ransoms, as well as make purchases necessary to further their illicit schemes. But as anonymous as it may be, with users identified only by an indecipherable string of numbers and letters, cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, is not untraceable. With all bitcoin transactions published in a public blockchain, investigators can still glean clues from patterns of exchanges, and home in on minute details that can tie a suspicious transaction to an unwitting suspect. 

 

“It’s follow the money. That statement from Watergate still applies,” said John Michener, chief scientist at Casaba Security, in an interview with Forensic Magazine along with Casaba co-founder Jason Glassberg.

 

“It’s about collecting all these little bread crumbs and following the trail to make a more complete picture,” said Glassberg. “By collecting these various pieces of evidence, these little crumbs, you can follow the trail and make a pretty convincing case.”

 

Links on the Blockchain

 

A few of these “crumbs” left behind along the bitcoin trail were seen in the recent indictment of 12 Russian agents accused of hacking the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee using spearphishing tactics as well as malware to steal sensitive information and emails. The agents allegedly funneled much of this stolen information through rented servers—which they paid for, according to authorities, with bitcoin.

 

It is unclear exactly how U.S. authorities first managed to identify who was behind each bitcoin address involved in the scheme, but the links become clear in the indictment—the same bitcoin address was used both to buy spearphishing domains, including qooqle.com and account-gooogle.com, and the dcleaks.com domain later used to leak the stolen emails. 

 

Another bitcoin address was used to purchase a VPN account used to log into the Twitter handle @Guccifer_2, a persona used to leak more DNC documents, and then the same address was used to lease a server that hosted dcleaks.com. This link is important, as Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks claimed to be separate entities.

 

It is details like these that show how bitcoin transactions on the public blockchain can be an important investigative tool, revealing connections that may not have been detected otherwise.

 

“The digital wallet is going to have a specific identifier, and if you see the same wallet being accessed or deposited into from a number of disparate or illegal sources, that gives you just another piece of tracing ability,” noted Glassberg.

 

The ability to plainly see these transactions—where they came from, who they’re going to and in what precise amount—makes bitcoin even more traceable than another type of non-“crypto” currency.

 

“Bitcoin is not cash (…) Cash is true anonymous and moves around,” explained Michener. “(Bitcoin is) a(n) observation-resistant, but not observation-proof, transfer mechanism.”

 

Exposure Through Exchanges

 

As mentioned, the Russia indictment does not reveal exactly how investigators managed to track specific bitcoin transactions back to the 12 agents, but there are ways of doing this, as Michener and Glassberg explain.

 

“Under normal conditions, you’re going to buy and sell bitcoin through exchanges. The legal exchanges are registered, because the banking laws around the world have KYC requirements—know your customer. The problem there is that the exchanges, certainly the legal ones, are going to want to know name, identity, credit card numbers, stuff that you’d use for tracing individuals’ accountability,” Michener said. “If I buy cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and then go use it, or I receive bitcoin for some criminal operation, I typically want to exchange this for services, or cash. And that transition to cash exposes them to the most risk, because at some point, they have to identify themselves to some degree.”

 

The application of anti-laundering laws to virtual currencies by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in 2013 made it harder for those with criminal intentions to hide their identity, should they ever want to turn in their bitcoin for something more practical. And due to the fluctuating value of bitcoin, and the fact that bitcoin isn’t an accepted as a form of payment by many mainstream businesses, it makes sense that one would want to make use of one of these exchanges at some point.

 

It was the use of a legal, legitimate bitcoin exchange service, Bitstamp, that tripped up disgraced Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force in late 2013 when his suspicious actions and unusually enormous transactions caught the attention of Bitstamp general counsel George Frost, as reported by Ars Technica. While Force—who first tried and failed to use an undercover identity to register for the exchange—was illegally taking huge sums of money for his own personal gain from operators of the darknet marketplace Silk Road, Frost was monitoring his transaction activity, taking note of red flags and ultimately cooperating with authorities in investigating and prosecuting Force.

 

For cybercriminals who don’t want to take the risk of using a legal bitcoin exchange, which may record their identity and cooperate with law enforcement, they can use an illegal bitcoin exchange, which, as Glassberg and Michener explain, has pitfalls of its own.

 

“The mere fact that they’re illegal means (…) before you put your money into them, you have to take a leap of faith that these guys aren’t just going to take your money and run, because what are your alternatives? If I go deposit this cryptocurrency into this illegal exchange and the exchange, it shuts down and takes my money, who am I supposed to complain to?” Glassberg pointed out. “There’s a huge, huge risk.”

 

“Black market exchanges are illegal. Operating one is criminal. The authorities crack down, find somebody—they may well continue running it as a front for a while, trying to track people down, so you don’t know you’re working with a compromised black market,” Michener added.

 

This scenario has played out in the past, such as with the takeover of dark web marketplace Hansa, which law enforcement operated following the takedown of AlphaBay in order to collect information about users purchasing illegal drugs, weapons, stolen credit card information and more.

 

Ultimately, bitcoin may only be as anonymous as the risk criminals will take to keep it that way.

 

Source
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 11
  • Created
  • Last Reply

i cant be ass  to read all this is there real proof  if so show me that part ill read for sure

edit  see things like DNC documents,  its old news now i am sure   plus again no proof it was russia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being  Indicted and being caught  there's a big  difference  lol .. Snowden is from the USA and hes wanted on charges in the USA for many years and Russia  want hand him over . Fat chance of Russia handing there own agents over.  That's like some other place that's not allies with the USA asking them too hand over a CIA agent it's   never going to happen . Even if it's real  proof most of  the time there just pardoned by the president .

 

No were on that source of  you're  post say they was caught  that's not even the title of the article  you changed it.

The title is Virtual Case Notes: For Some Cybercriminals, Using Bitcoin Doesn’t Pay 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha Ha nice move changing title of  a news article to create more fake news :wtf:

Would expect a move like that from a veteran ???

 

I think not what a great example for us junior members :chair:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What happen to the Scooter Libby that they say leaked  classified employment information about Valerie Plame,  he got Pardoned  Hes accused of the same thing as these guys are . They done that to her because her husband exposed the USA lies about Iraq, the CIA hired him to find out the truth and he just done what they ask him too and they outed his wife because he done his job, so he went public with it, . If the USA started a war based on lies why would we believe someone who has never showed any real proof .he couldn't pin Trump on nothing.. so now hes grasping for straws .Indicting people that will never be took to court that's a waste of tax payers money. :lol:

 

 

The Democrats are sore losers here it  is 2 years latter and it's still in the news they lost they need to get over it and they most likely will keep losing because they are pissing  most Americans off. If they was any proof of it they would make Trump step down like they did Nixon the OP talks about Watergate  but they not been able to prove nothing. And they want never get no Russian Agents in the USA to stand trial and they knew that when they Indicted them . in the USA your innocent until proven guilty and they want never be proven guilty. But the left winged media post articles that make everybody seem guilty that are not on the left and  it's not even  been proven in a court of law.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, DonyMach1 said:

Ha Ha nice move changing title of  a news article to create more fake news :wtf:

Would expect a move like that from a veteran ???

 

I think not what a great example for us junior members :chair:

 

The article was relevant to the identification of the 12 agents, not that bitcoin could be traced.  I informed members here of that fact a year or more ago that we could trace bitcoin and TOR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lets be real  its about dnc hack  and its 2weeks old now from my understanding

see

go to utube and look for 12 Russian Agents  u see all the videos it from 2weeks ago 

and its all about the dnc hack still

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@straycat19 

The article relevance is something to be discussed after posting the article as written not as you want others to believe.


Reporting news here as we do is ment to be {copy paste reporting} thats our job not telling others what's relevant or not.

 

You want to quote something you told members a year ago is no excuse to push your opinion on others. I wasn't here a year ago as many others

 

All you have done is diminish what little credibility you have left.  leave at that or dig a bigger hole for yourself up to you.

 

Finally i have to say manipulating story headlines like this only sucks in passionate people like @knowledge and gets them in trouble is that your intension?


Hope not he has just been through this type of baiting crap time to give him a fair go.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if u want to see what putin say about it see this topic from nbc

i think its the same thing just named  different ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, knowledge said:

i think its the same thing just named  different ?

They been talking about it every since Trump got elected 

Quote

A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) stated that Russian leadership favored presidential candidate Trump over Clinton, and that Russian president Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" to harm Clinton's chances and "undermine public faith in the US democratic process"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

 

Normally when they give out Indictments here in the USA they investigate a crime for along time and let them keep committing them for along time tell they get enough evidence were they think they will win in court then they unseal them and go around and arrest everyone at once and they come out in the news. This here  is a crock of shit they put out  Indictments knowing these agents are in Russia and won't never be arrested its not even worth talking about really.If they really wanted to arrest these guys they of would waited tell they left Russia on vacation or something and unsealed them as needed, putting there name in the media is tipping them off witch makes it look rigged.  If the CIA really wanted them they would of  never been unsealed  tell they had them in places were they could arrest them . You remember how they caught the guy who ran Kickass ? They waited tell he left the Ukraine and visited a country were he could be extradited. No one knew nothing about it tell they done it . They dont want to catch these guys are they would of never posted there names in the media.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, steven36 said:

They been talking about it every since Trump got elected 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

 

Normally when they give out Indictments here in the USA they investigate a crime for along time and let them keep committing them for along time tell they get enough evidence were they think they will win in court then they unseal them and go around and arrest everyone at once and they come out in the news. This here  is a crock of shit they put out  Indictments knowing these agents are in Russia and won't never be arrested its not even worth talking about really.If they really wanted to arrest these guys they of would waited tell they left Russia on vacation or something and unsealed them as needed, putting there name in the media is tipping them off witch makes it look rigged.  If the CIA really wanted them they would of  never been unsealed  tell they had them in places were they could arrest them . You remember how they caught the guy who ran Kickass ? They waited tell he left the Ukraine and visited a country were he could be extradited. No one knew nothing about it tell they done it . They dont want to catch these guys are they would of never posted there names in the media.

i am sorry to say but the men cant go from russia if they wanted to or not  putin is boss he say if they go or not

If they really wanted to arrest these guys they of would waited tell they left Russia on vacation

no vacation  for them  men as there jobs not let this happen like that  its a security  thing  u real think putin let his security  men go to usa and tell all info  its cant happen   but  i can tell u 100% the 12 russians will be seen as guilty as they will not go to a usa court  russian law not allow this so ill say befor all the news do  yes the russians will be seen as guilty  1000000% sure on that its a easy one

 

yes i  remember man from Ukraine  case

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...