The Division of Justice on Wednesday announced that it has dismantled a darknet cryptocurrency mixer referred to as ChipMixer for enabling cyber criminals to launder greater than $3 billion of cryptocurrency.
Authorities stated that they had seized two domains that directed customers to the blending service.
In keeping with the DOJ, ChipMixer was additionally concerned in different unlawful actions together with ransomware, fraud, cryptocurrency heists and different hacking schemes.
“This morning, working with companions at dwelling and overseas, the Division of Justice disabled a prolific cryptocurrency mixer, which has fueled ransomware assaults, state-sponsored crypto-heists and darknet purchases throughout the globe,” stated Deputy Lawyer Common Lisa Monaco in an announcement.
The company additionally charged Minh Quốc Nguyễn, a Vietnamese operator of ChipMixer, with cash laundering, working an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise and id theft.
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In keeping with DOJ officers, ChipMixer allowed customers to deposit bitcoin which it then used to combine with different customers’ bitcoin funds, making it tough for authorities to hint the supply of the transactions.
Crypto mixers like ChipMixer are sometimes utilized by people or teams that wish to make their transactions nameless and more durable to hint by mixing their funds with others on the blockchain.
In keeping with the grievance, “ChipMixer attracted a major felony clientele and have become indispensable in obfuscating and laundering funds from a number of felony schemes.”
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The DOJ alleged that the blending service processed $17 million in bitcoin for criminals tied to about 37 kinds of ransomware.
That is the most recent motion taken by the U.S. authorities to crack down on cryptocurrency mixers that enable cyber criminals to make use of their platforms to conduct unlawful transactions.
Final 12 months, the Treasury Division sanctioned Tornado Cash, one other cryptocurrency mixer, for serving to hackers launder greater than $7 billion value of digital foreign money.
In keeping with the company, Twister Money allowed cyber teams, together with North Korean-backed hackers, to make use of its platform to launder the proceeds of cybercrimes.
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For example, a state-sponsored hacking group, referred to as the Lazarus Group, tied to North Korea used Twister Money to steal greater than $455 million in cryptocurrency, the most important recognized digital foreign money heist to this point, the division stated.
“Criminals have lengthy sought to launder the proceeds of their criminality via varied means,” stated Particular Agent in Cost Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI Philadelphia Discipline Workplace in an announcement. “Know-how has modified the sport, although, with a website like ChipMixer and facilitator like Nguyen enabling dangerous actors to take action on a grand scale with ease.”
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