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Binance Helps Take Down $500 Million Worth Cybercriminal Ring

An international cyber criminal’s gang worth $5oo million ransomware crime was diffused through the worlds leading exchange, Binance, who was further linked with international law enforcement agencies

Published: October 13, 2021 By Ozair Malik

How Illicit funds use an exchange

Image Source – binance.com

From supply chains to healthcare sectors, almost all the industries connected to the internet are under the effect of the biggest threat to online security; Ransomware.

Considering this, Binance to ensure the security and sustainable growth of the crypto world committed to protecting and fighting against ransomware and frauds inflicted with it.

Working with the Ukraine Cyber Police, Binance released their first case study of the Bullet Proof Exchanger Project; this was an anti-ransomware system initiative and arresting a major cybercriminal gang that was known to be laundering over $42 million of bootleg funds.

Latterly, Binance Security has been seen taking part in the international investigation and some eminent authorities listed below to capture and rest the abounding cybercriminal ring.

  • Cyber Bureau of Korean National Police
  • US Law Enforcement
  • Swiss Federal Office of Police
  • Ukraine Cyber Police

Shocking revelations await you.

$500M Worth of Damages

An international organization of cybercriminals is held responsible for over $500M worth of crime by the international law enforcement agencies working with the worlds leading exchange, Binance. The said cybercriminal group is considered to be a great threat and was fortunately infiltrated this summer. Furthermore, some cyber police units from Korea, the US, Ukraine, Spain, and others said to be working with Interpol found out 21 addresses last June in Kyiv.

From 2019 to 2021, several servers of Korean and American universities were targeted, and six members of the cybercriminal ring were held accountable for using the malicious software known to be a ransomware attack by the Cyber Police units.

Our ongoing partnerships with the law enforcement, as well as security and blockchain analytics firms, will be driving force in improving the cybersecurity measures across the wider crypto industry.

Not only that, the exchange has ramped up over the past year of in-house anti-money laundering (AML) detection and analytics capabilities.

Cyber-police Department of the National Police of Ukraine

Image Source - cyberpolice.gov.uk

Operation FANCYCAT

The famous group—known as FANCY CAT—has been running various criminal exchanges: operating a high-risk exchanger, scattering cyberattack, and laundering money from dark web operations, including high-profile attacks such as the CI0p and Petya ransomware.

The in-house AML detection and analytics capabilities have been expanded over the past year.

Based on the research, understanding of the history, analysis of cybercriminals' attacks and their tactics to cash out of international industries, A big security problem had been highlighted in the industries facing such attacks.

Considering the biggest problem for the industries under attack or to say, the money being laundered through nested services and accounts that live inside macro VASP’s.

Nonetheless, these criminals take great pleasure in taking advantage of reputable digital assets and well-developed APIs. It is greatly concluded that FANCY CAT is accountable for over $500 million worth of damages from several cyber felonies.

Exabyte

A well-known Malaysian-based hosting service company, Exabytes, was in line to disclose that they had been under the effect of a ransomware attack.

The company claimed to have restored its systems shortly after the attack.

Amanz, the tech portal, reported that the company had tweeted that the cyber attackers were demanding a good sum of US $900,00 as ransom in cryptocurrency; fortunately, the tweet was later deleted.

Block Chain Analysis

In the cases associated in the majority were illicit blockchain flows coming into exchanges, the exchange is not harboring the real criminal gang themselves but instead being used as a middleman to launder the stolen profits.

The blockchain analysis showed a network of money launderers living inside the macro exchanges, showing a pattern of deposit and withdrawal to wash the money. Under the consideration of this diagnosis, it is essential to be taking the following steps by Binance:

  1. They are implementing their detection mechanisms to identify and offboard accounts with suspicious activities.
  2. Collaboration with law enforcement to build cases and take down criminal groups

Mind map abstraction of the different types of blockchain applications

Image Source - sciencedirect.com

The Bullet Proof Exchanger Project

Binance’s first collaboration was not with the international law enforcement regarding the FANCY CAT operation. A dedicated anti-ransomware initiative and the collaboration of the Ukrainian Cyber Police was the Bulletproof Exchanger Project set up in 2020.

A major criminal group cybercriminal group accused of laundering over $42 million illicit funds was identified

The exchange also focused on ramping up its detection mechanism, such as working with TRM (analytics firm Crystal, developed by the blockchain technology firm Bitfury) other than just collaborating with the authorities.

Mechanisms for the identification and shutting down illicit activity have been introduced by Binance to counter ransomware threats.

By identifying transactions between Binance and high-risk entities, the copying mechanisms are built and run by the Security Team of Binance, its Analytics Team, and the Security Data Science Team.

Ransomware attacks by Months

Image Source - blackfog.com

Making the International Crypto Ecosystem a Safer Place

At Binance, we believe that strong controls across exchanges, smart legislation, and ongoing education will help immensely with weeding out bad actors. Projects like Bulletproof Exchanger and ongoing partnerships with security and blockchain analytics firms, and government will prove to be a driving force in improving the cybersecurity measures across the wider crypto industry.

Binance is amongst the world's top blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure providers posessing a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

Conclusion

New technology must be introduced to address Bitcoin's and other cryptocurrencies’ lack of ability to abide by the existing regulation.

This technology must cover many functions, including identity management, compliance management, and reporting and analytics.

By doing this, prevailing banking and financial institutions can offer safe and compliant services to their customers who want to start selling in Bitcoin.

It is here where Bitcoin can fairly and securely scale to the public.

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Author
Ozair Malik
A passionate Cyber Security researcher and writer with a keen interest in Digital Forensics. A community worker running a insta blog to raise cybersecurity awareness among laymen.

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