Home Cryptocurrency News Cybercriminals' crypto platform ChipMixer seized in worldwide operation – Reuters

Cybercriminals' crypto platform ChipMixer seized in worldwide operation – Reuters

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BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – Worldwide authorities have cracked down on the cryptocurrency platform ChipMixer, alleging it helped obscure the digital cash path for on-line drug sellers, Russian army hackers and North Korean cybercriminals, Europe’s Europol police company and the U.S. Division of Justice stated on Wednesday.

The positioning – which authorities say laundered greater than $3 billion value of cryptocurrency – was offline on Wednesday, changed by a banner which learn, “THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN SEIZED” and displaying the logos of German, American, Swiss and Polish legislation enforcement organizations.

The Justice Division stated it had charged Vietnamese nationwide Minh Quoc Nguyen, 49, with cash laundering and identification theft in reference to the platform’s operation. In its indictment, the division claimed that Nguyen brazenly flouted monetary rules and at one level instructed customers of a Bitcoin discussion board that “‘Cash laundering’ is against the law made-up by governments that spy on their residents.”

In an e mail, the Justice Division stated Nguyen was not in custody. Reuters was not instantly capable of decide his present whereabouts; makes an attempt to achieve him by e mail weren’t instantly profitable. A message despatched to ChipMixer’s publicly posted e mail deal with was not instantly returned.

ChipMixer, an unlicensed cryptocurrency mixer arrange in mid-2017, specialised in mixing or slicing trails associated to digital forex property, authorities stated. Europol described it as “one of many darkweb’s largest cryptocurrency laundromats” and stated that greater than 40 million euros ($42.2 million) value of cryptocurrency had been seized.

Digital forex monitoring service Elliptic stated ChipMixer had been used to launder over $844 million in Bitcoin that it tied on to illicit exercise – together with not less than $666 million from cryptocurrency thefts.

Elliptic stated in a weblog submit that ChipMixer was considered one of a number of mixers used to launder proceeds of hacks perpetrated by the Lazarus Group, a hacking gang that cybersecurity specialists and Western international locations allege to be operated out of North Korea.

The Justice Division stated the Russia’s army intelligence service – finest identified below its outdated acronym, the GRU – had additionally used the service to buy infrastructure for hacking operations.

As a result of blockchain transactions are publicly seen, cybercriminals usually use mixers to obscure the path of ill-gotten digital currencies and different such companies which were topic to legislation enforcement seizure previously.

In Could 2019, for instance, Europol introduced the seizure of Bestmixer.io, the same website.

($1 = 0.9488 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in Brussels and Raphael Satter in Washington; Enhancing by Mark Porter and Josie Kao

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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