According to reports, two hacker groups have been successful in stealing $1 billion worth cryptocurrency says the blockchain analytics company, Chainalysis.
Chainalysis submitted a report to the Wall Street Journal which highlighted the issue of two cyber crime groups hacking the blockchain ecosystem and stealing $1 billion in crypto assets. The blockchain analytics company labels the two entities as Alpha and Beta and claims that most of the money lost in recent cryptocurrency scams was acquired by these hacker groups. It is also believed by the Chainalysis officials that the criminal organizations behind these hacks are still out in the open, maybe even rooting for more hacks. Hence, we can assume that the crypto industry is far from being safe at the moment since two pro hacking groups are on the run.
While the analytics company reported the act of these hacker groups, it also cleared out that there is a probability that the assumptions made by Chainalysis might be false. This creates a bit of a discomfort in the industry as not only does the company report a major fraudulent activity but it also sort of rules out the information it provided in the first place, saying that it might be incorrect. No clear identity of the hacker groups has been discovered until now, so to say who was behind these illicit activities might be nothing more than a wild guess. Has Chainalysis played safe on its part?
The report launched by Chainalysis describes the two hacking groups’ identities saying that one of the two hacking groups is “a giant, tightly controlled organization at least partly driven by non-monetary goals,” whereas the other organization behind this thievery is “heavily sanctioned organization heavily focused on the money.” It explains how one hacking group involved in this act did not do so for the sole purpose of earning money but had other motives too, while the other group had clear intentions of acquiring money although this group is smaller and less organized.
Moreover, it is also reported that the crypto assets stolen were transferred through various accounts on an average of around 5,000 times before they were converted into cash. These substantial transfers by the parties involved were a result of avoiding getting tracked by authorities but if the count of transfers can be deduced, why not the culprit then? Surely the concerned authorities are working on this matter too.
The two hacker groups are considered to be functioning differently from each other where one group, “Alpha” immediately transfers funds into different accounts due to the fear of getting traced and the other group, “Beta” waits for the right time which is for these events to cool down before transferring the funds so that no one gets suspicious of its activities. Normally, Beta waits for 18 months before transferring the funds into different accounts.
The report drafted by Chainalysis also underlines the fact that Alpha converts 75% of the stolen funds into cash under a one month period whereas, Beta converts 50% of the stolen funds into cash within a matter of a few days once its 18-months waiting period ends.
Even when the stolen funds are converted into cash through exchanges that are regulated by government authorities, it is hard for those exchanges to identify fraud in those accounts as well. These exchanges who follow the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures often find it difficult to recognize such illicit activities, thanks to the large amount of fund transfers.
Therefore, a major loss recording a $1 billion worth cryptocurrency theft has been reported in the crypto industry but the involved parties have not yet been identified despite the recognition of the processes they follow. However, the blockchain analytics company also mentions the possibility of its given information being wrong. If it’s false, the hacker groups will be roaming around freely but if it’s not, it might help the responsible authorities to carry out their investigations. As spectators, we hope for the best in the interest of the crypto industry.
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