Ukrainian police busted a criminal crypto washing operation with the help of Binance’s internal data watchdog
Earlier this year, Binance’s internal data security team helped Ukraine to dismantle an ongoing criminal crypto laundering operation. The bust happened in June of this year – with the actions being made public earlier this week.
The criminal operation laundered at least $42 million in tokens from a variety of different sources. While the group of Ukrainan hackers did not have an official name, it did distribute ransomware, and also helped hackers to wash ill-gotten cryptos.
According to a press release from Binance, Binance’s “Sentry” division and TRM labs helped the police isolate the transactions, and track down the three people that comprised the illegal operation.
Crypto hacking is a major money maker
A Twitter hack earlier this year was successful in defrauding investors of more than $100,000, however, during the hack, Coinbase blacklisted the BTC address the scammers were using.
According to Coinbase, it blocked more than 1,000 BTC transactions, which would have amounted to more than $280,000 in BTC for the scammers. While 14 customers were able to send money to the address, quick action on the part of the exchange was able to prevent the vast majority of funds from being sent.
Swift justice for the scammers
While crypto used to be the wild west, it is becoming harder to successfully launch scams in the cryptosphere. The Twitter hack was successful at its early stages, but three people who are suspected of being responsible for the attack were quickly brought into custody.
The FBI, US Secret Service, IRS and Florida police arrested 17-year-old Graham Clark of Tampa, Florida on July 31, with authorities suspecting Clark was the leader of the group. The bust came about two weeks after the hack, which didn’t give the trio much time to divest the stolen funds.
All three are facing fines and jail time, with Clark being charged as an adult, and facing at least 30 felony counts – in addition to further investigation by both State and Federal authorities.
As the crypto markets develop further, the risk to reward ratio for scamming, washing tokens and other black hat operations will likely become less attractive. Law enforcement authorities are working with the biggest exchanges in the world and getting real results to bring criminals to justice.