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Bitcoin Crimes

A Bitcoin Crime Fighter Becomes A Crypto Investor | Fortune

A Bitcoin Crime Fighter Becomes A Crypto Investor | Fortune

Lets settle this! an announcer rumbles over loudspeakers. The this in question is one of the more important business disputes of the moment: Are alternative currencies like Bitcoin the future of financial services or a 21st-century Ponzi scheme? To get resolution, a Mexican data center company called KIO Networks is hosting a debate in a smoke-filled arena in the graffiti-coated Hipdromo Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. The atmosphere screams lucha libre, the stylized form of Mexican wrestling that features acrobatic moves and dramatic masks. On this late-September evening, the main event features two intellectual heavyweights from the United States, both highly credentialed, neither wearing disguises. In one corner is Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate in economics. In the other is Kathryn Haun, an accomplished federal prosecutor recently turned venture capitalist. Krugmans position is predictable. He sees the rise of cryptocurrency networksdecentralized digital services that run on computerized money like Bitcoinas an unnecessary throwback to a distant era, when precious metals made up the money supply. I dont believe were at the dawn of a new age, he says. He delivers a smackdown on an investment craze that the likes of Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett have repeatedly pooh-poohed: I think 15 years from now, it will look a lot like Pets.com. Haun sees things differently. To her, virtual currencies and the technologies that underpin them are societys saviors: a last great hope at reclaiming power gobbled up by greedy banks and Internet monopolists. Facebook, Amazon , Netflix , Google , they control all the rules, she says. They have all the users. They have all the power. The new technology, Haun argues, allows eager, entrepreneurial devel Continue reading >>

Tracing Illegal Activity Through The Bitcoin Blockchain To Combat Cryptocurrency-related Crimes

Tracing Illegal Activity Through The Bitcoin Blockchain To Combat Cryptocurrency-related Crimes

Tracing Illegal Activity Through The Bitcoin Blockchain To Combat Cryptocurrency-Related Crimes Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Crypto & Blockchain I write about crypto, women in crypto and blockchain technology. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have the potential to break traditional financial barriers, there are a number of growing concerns about digital currencies being used to fund illegal activities. According to a study conducted earlier this year, approximately one-quarter of Bitcoin users and one-half of Bitcoin transactions are associated with illicit activity. Around $72 billion of unlawful activity per year involves Bitcoin, which is close to the scale of the U.S. and European markets for illegal drugs. Moreover, a 2018 study conducted by blockchain analysis startup, Elliptic, and the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, found a fivefold increase in the number of large-scale illegal operations working on the Bitcoin blockchain between 2013 and 2016. By analyzing the history of more than 500,000 bitcoins, the organizations identified 102 criminal entities, which included dark-web marketplaces, ponzi schemes and ransomware/malware attackers . Tracing Criminal Activity Across The Bitcoin Blockchain Interestingly enough, many of the digital currencies examined in the study conducted by Elliptic and the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance could be linked back to the perpetrators. For example, it was found that 95% of all the laundered coins tracked came from nine dark-web marketplaces, including Silk Road, Silk Road 2.0, Agora and AlphaBay. By examining blockchain activity closely, companies focused on combating cryptocurrency related crimes can pinpoint accounts that appear to belong to the same Bitcoin wallet and are controll Continue reading >>

Tougher To Use Bitcoin For Crime?

Tougher To Use Bitcoin For Crime?

Kelly School of Business - Indiana University-Bloomington Why Anonymous Use of the Cryptocurrency May Prove Difficult Mathew J. Schwartz ( euroinfosec ) December 30, 2014 The relative anonymity afforded by using the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin appears to be in jeopardy, making it potentially less attractive for use in connection with cybercrime. See Also: Addressing the Identity Risk Factor in the Age of 'Need It Now' Three University of Luxembourg researchers say they have identified techniques that can be used to determine the identity of anonymous Bitcoin users for between 11 percent and 60 percent of all Bitcoin transactions, "depending on how stealthy [the] attacker wants to be." Deanonymizing a Bitcoin user means tying their pseudonym - which serves as a public key - to the IP address from which they trade bitcoins. The researchers say their attack requires only about $2,000 worth of equipment. The researchers also say they can defeat users who attempt to hide behind firewalls or network address translation. By "abusing" Bitcoin countermeasures designed to block distributed-denial-of-service attacks, the researchers say they can also unmask up to 60 percent of Bitcoin users who employ the Tor anonymizing network in an effort to mask their IP address. The deanonymizing method opens up new ways for law enforcement agencies to tie transactions to an IP address, and perhaps back to the identity of a criminal, says Alan Woodward, a visiting computer science professor at the University of Surrey, as well as a cybersecurity adviser to Europol. "Good, old-fashioned policing - a lot of it is about following the money," he says. To that end, Europol - short for the European Police Office, which coordinates criminal intelligence across the EU - has been forging stronger Continue reading >>

Bitcoin [btc] Thefts: Cambridge Scholars Find An Ancient Way To Combat Future Cryptocurrency Crimes

Bitcoin [btc] Thefts: Cambridge Scholars Find An Ancient Way To Combat Future Cryptocurrency Crimes

While the true number of Bitcoins [BTC] stolen till date will actually remain a mystery, the official number exceeds $1 billion in BTCs. Transactions in the Bitcoin ecosystem are not anonymous and are public in nature, but they are quite untraceable. The reason as to why they are impossible to track is because, unlike each US Dollar bill, which is engraved with a serial number, individual Bitcoins are not numbered and hence, trailing the genesis of the coins [or stolen coins] is pretty elusive. However, few Cambridge University scholars namely, Mansoor Ahmed, Ilia Shumailor and Rose Anderson, have released a paper called Tendrils of crime- visualizing the diffusion of stolen coins, elucidating a system to trace back the stolen coins which can be further reclaimed by the victim it was stolen from. The paper also said that one-to-many kind of transactions are, although very rare [as many wallets do not permit the transactions from one source to multiple entities at a given time], the ones which are commonly used for money laundering purposes. The paper, in brief, explains two types of tracking processes, of which the second one seems to be helpful in drawing a recourse of the stolen coin (or coins). This approach is called Taintchain, which uses a device called FIFO (stands for first in, first out). FIFO is an ancient accounting method that has been applied in various fields including law and most recently in the cryptocurrency space. It fundamentally splits each Bitcoin into its smallest unit called satoshis, i.e., 1 Bitcoin into 100 million unique satoshis carrying all the information of its movement. The FIFO algorithm enables trailing the course of the coin movement right back to the genesis wallet. The rule that applies here is that if the first coins that got into Continue reading >>

Yes, Criminals Use Bitcoin: They Also Use Cars, Cash, Mobile Phones, And The Web

Yes, Criminals Use Bitcoin: They Also Use Cars, Cash, Mobile Phones, And The Web

Yes, Criminals Use Bitcoin: They Also Use Cars, Cash, Mobile Phones, and the Web In the ten years of Bitcoins existence much has been made about its supposed utility for criminals by the mainstream media. The latest example comes from the UKs Daily Mail , which has made a big deal about the digital currencys use in the case of a nurse using the dark web to deal pills out of California. However, given that criminal acts are estimated to account for less than 1% of all transactions occurring on the Bitcoin network, such headlines seem entirely unjustified. Yes, Bitcoin has been used for criminal activities but so has just about every technological advancement ever cash included. Bitcoin is Efficient, Criminals Like Efficiency In its 10 year existence, Bitcoin has had a fair amount of dirt thrown at it from the mainstream media. This is reasonably understandable since its first major use case was the buying and selling of drugs on early dark web marketplaces such as Silk Road . However, since then a lot has happened. Bitcoin has moved out of the shadows and towards the mainstream in a way only a few thought possible. As huge names such as the Intercontinental Exchange and Fidelity have made clear over the past couple of years, Bitcoin is on the verge of becoming a serious financial asset. Is it not time the mainstream media stopped mentioning it in criminal cases where it was used only to facilitate the transfer of value? The latest example of a mainstream media publication unnecessarily naming Bitcoin in connection to a crime comes from the UKs Daily Mail. Earlier today, the newspaper reported on the case of a nurse from California who had used the dark web to sell controlled substances in exchange for Bitcoin. The only things that could be consideredinteresting about th Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Price Is So High Because Criminals Are Using It For Illegal Trades, Research Suggests

Bitcoin Price Is So High Because Criminals Are Using It For Illegal Trades, Research Suggests

Bitcoin price is so high because criminals are using it for illegal trades, research suggests If they were to reject it for more privacy-focused digital currencies, its value is 'likely'to fall, according to the study Almost half of all bitcoin transactions are associated with illegal activity, a new study has concluded. Researchers have also linked a quarter of bitcoin users with crime, such as hacks, money laundering and the trading of drugs and illegal pornography. Worryingly for investors, they believe that the sheer popularity of the cryptocurrency amongst criminals is a major contributor to its value. If criminals turn their backs on bitcoin and start embracing more privacy-focused digital currencies, its value is likely tofall, the researchers say. Designed by Pierpaolo Lazzarini from Italian company Jet Capsule. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph. A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie 'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Continue reading >>

India's Bitcoin Boom Is Fueling A Surge In Cryptocurrency Crime Quartz India

India's Bitcoin Boom Is Fueling A Surge In Cryptocurrency Crime Quartz India

If a dithering government, a vacationing court , and an unfriendly central bank werent bad enough,Indias embattled cryptocurrency ecosystem is now staring at another problema spate of crimes. The most prominent scam involving digital currencies in the country began unraveling in 2017 after investors complained against Amit Bhardwaj, founder of cryptocurrency firm GainBitcoin. The company had allegedlyduped 8,000 investors of Rs2,000 crore($300 million), and now British businessman Raj Kundra and other Bollywood celebrities , too, have been dragged into the mess. In the early days, as cryptocurrencies caught on in India, frauds were limited to phishing and hacking. Then, came multi-level marketing schemes. Now virtual money is even being demanded as ransom . Phishing and hacking:It is one of the oldest tricks in the book. An email is sent from a seemingly genuine address, asking users to click on a link and/or fill in details. These links usually contain malware that affects the systems and clones the investors data, robbing them of their funds. In other cases, a hacker may hold the important files on your system as ransom, until they are paid in cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, a New Delhi-based investor approached the authorities after she lost bitcoin worth Rs6.5 lakh to hacking. She lost another Rs35 lakh to crooks who promised to help retrieve the earlier amount. Fake apps and social media accounts:Fake apps have been flooding the app stores. In other cases, counterfeit websites and Twitter handles are used to dupe gullible investors.For instance, users of Zebpay , a cryptocurrency exchange in India, received messagesasking them todeposit a certain amount of money as part of a survey in exchange for bitcoins. These messages were sent out from a Twitter handle t Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Crime: Fbi Investigating 130 Cryptocurrency Cases

Bitcoin Crime: Fbi Investigating 130 Cryptocurrency Cases

Bitcoin crime: FBI investigating 130 cryptocurrency cases The rise of cryptocurrencies has been linked with a range of criminal activities, particularly on the dark web. Photo/123RF. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has 130 cases tied to cryptocurrencies, according to an agent speaking at a digital-asset industry conference in New York. The cases "threat tagged" to virtual currencies encompass crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping and ransomware attacks, according to Kyle Armstrong, a supervisory special agent. "There are thousands of cases in the bureau, so it is a small sliver at this point," Armstrong said at the Crypto Evolved conference Wednesday. The agency has noticed an increase in illegal activity facilitated by digital-currency payments, he added. The opioid epidemic, in particular, has come into focus at the FBI as the "dark web" enables a surge in drug abuse. Illegal online marketplaces are where 10 per cent of global drug users make their purchases, said Armstrong, who is in charge of the FBI's virtual-currency initiative, which has been around for about three years. The FBI has also seen a significant rise in extortion schemes related to virtual currencies on the southwest border of the US, Armstrong said. While Armstrong said the agency takes a neutral view on digital tokens, he noted several pros and cons. The distributed ledger that underpins blockchain technology makes it easier to trace cryptocurrencies than cash, for example, but the anonymity of the transactions can be a hurdle to legal investigations, he said. Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Thieves Threaten Real Violence For Virtual Currencies

Bitcoin Thieves Threaten Real Violence For Virtual Currencies

Technology |Bitcoin Thieves Threaten Real Violence for Virtual Currencies A person with a cryptocurrency hardware wallet at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris. Credit Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Agence France-Presse Getty Images SAN FRANCISCO The currency they were after was virtual, but the guns they carried were anything but. In the beach resort of Phuket, Thailand, last month, the assailants pushed their victim, a young Russian man, into his apartment and kept him there, blindfolded, until he logged onto his computer and transferred about $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to an online wallet they controlled. A few weeks before that, the head of a Bitcoin exchange in Ukraine was taken hostage and only released after the company paid a ransom of $1 million in Bitcoin. In New York City, a man was held captive by a friend until he transferred over $1.8 million worth of Ether, a virtual currency second in value only to Bitcoin. Virtual currencies can be easily transferred to an anonymous address set up by a criminal. While banks can stop or reverse large electronic transactions made under duress, there is no Bitcoin bank to halt or take back a transfer, making the chances of a successful armed holdup frighteningly enticing. Thieves have taken advantage of this system in a startling number of recent cases, from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to Canada, the United States and Britain. This is now becoming more pervasive and touching more law enforcement divisions that deal with organized crime and violent crime on a local level, said Jonathan Levin, the founder of Chainalysis, which has worked with several law enforcement agencies on virtual currency crimes. Mr. Levins company specializes in tracking criminal transactions on the blockchain, the computerized ledger where every Bitcoin transacti Continue reading >>

Crime And Cryptocurrency: How Local Criminals Use Bitcoin Illegally

Crime And Cryptocurrency: How Local Criminals Use Bitcoin Illegally

Law enforcement is concerned that virtual currencies like bitcoin already known to be used for illegal transactions, including sex and drug trafficking will play an even bigger crime role as more investors use it as their preferred payment choice. Digital or virtual currency, often referred to as cryptocurrency, is not regulated by any central authority or government. Although local entrepreneurs say cryptocurrency has many legitimate uses, the speed and relative secrecy of the transactions have also been known to attract criminals. Unsavory characters in our society often utilize cryptocurrency, said Natalie Dunlevey, president of National Processing Solutions, a credit card processing and data security company in Dayton. RELATED: Bitcoin surges in popularity: Commons questions answered for you Some criminals use bitcoin because users can open a wallet to send and receive bitcoin without giving a name or identity. There is no bank or central authority, like a government, to control this information. Bitcoin also became a popular method for making payments when a computer system is taken over by ransomware. It is utilized by some very unsavory people in our society and there is no regulation, Dunlevey said. The fact that there is none is very worrisome. Bitcoin ATM. (Photo: Kara Driscoll/daytondailynews.com) Bitcoin is not completely anonymous and transactions can be traced by police through bitcoin trading websites. Other untraceable cryptocurrencies, like Monero, are becoming popular for dark web uses including drug trafficking and human trafficking, said Jad Mubaslat, Wright State University graduate student and founder of BitQuick.co, a bitcoin trading platform. The record of all bitcoin exchanges and transactions are recorded on what is called the blockchain, whic Continue reading >>

Using Bitcoin Or Other Cryptocurrency To Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is Onto You

Using Bitcoin Or Other Cryptocurrency To Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is Onto You

Using Bitcoin Or Other Cryptocurrency To Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is Onto You I write and consult on digital transformation in the enterprise. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Speculative bubble or no, perhaps the greatest challenge facing Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies in general, and the broader world of blockchain is the fact that all of these efforts in some way support criminal endeavors. Ive written about how criminal enterprise is largely responsible for the value of Bitcoin , and to be sure, it drives the demand for many alternative cybercurrencies as well. However, regardless of whether you believe cryptocurrency is all about facilitating crime vs. crime being but a small, unfortunate side effect of the rise of crypto coinage, theres no arguing with the fact that global law enforcement recognizes that cryptocurrency is the criminals playground. In fact, four primary areas of criminal activity lend themselves to cryptocurrency: tax evasion, money laundering, contraband transactions, and extortion not to mention the theft of cryptocurrency itself, which is all too easy with Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have actually led to a massive cat and mouse game with law enforcement, as agencies get better at identifying criminal behavior, while criminals come up with new evasion techniques and increasingly anonymous cybercurrencies in order to defeat the efforts of law enforcement. While much of this innovation in the greater cybercurrency/blockchain arena aligns with the interests of criminals, there is another side to this story: the increasing recognition that law enforcement requires its own technological innovation in order to keep up. Steve Garfield, Jrn Eriksson, and Jason Bloomberg Cryptocurrency: Criminal vs. Law Enforcement Cat-and-Mouse Ga Continue reading >>

Latest News On Crimes | Cointelegraph

Latest News On Crimes | Cointelegraph

Crimes that are made within cryptocurrency and related spheres are usually defined as cryptocurrency crimes. The legal status of digital currencies is not clear enough and governments all over the world are searching for a way to regulate operations in the cryptosphere. That is why most of the crimes cannot be forecasted or punished properly. The most common crypto-crime until the end of 2017 has been in relation to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), which were conducted by frauds and by stealing money from electronic wallets and storages through hacking or fraudulently-obtained information. Besides that, a lot of users money was stolen when using unverified exchanges and making transactions through suspicious services. Also, people lost money by joining financial cryptocurrency pyramids. The Russian Supreme Court has approved amendments to its anti-money laundering decree, making crypto laundering criminally punishable. A group of criminals disguised as the police attacked a Bitcoin trader in his home in the Netherlands. The United States law enforcement recovered and returned over $104,000 stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Coinbin, which acquired Youbit in 2017, is closing operations as the result of embezzlement from a senior executive. The FBI is attempting to investigate the movements behind the failed alleged ponzi scheme, which at one point was worth $2.5 billion. U.K. and Ireland-based Wilsons Auctions partners with Belgium government to sell $430,000 in cryptocurrencies seized during police operations. Blockchain security firm CipherTrace has secured a $15 million investment from Galaxy Digital and other venture capital firms. The FBI has outlined what it believes to be the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offerings. The govern Continue reading >>

Using Bitcoin Or Other Cryptocurrency To Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is On To You

Using Bitcoin Or Other Cryptocurrency To Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is On To You

Using Bitcoin or Other Cryptocurrency to Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is on to You Using Bitcoin or Other Cryptocurrency to Commit Crimes? Law Enforcement Is on to You An IT executive takes a look at the current state of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and how it's proving so difficult to regulate them. Apr. 07, 18 Security Zone Learning by doing is more effective than learning by watching - thats why Codebashing offers a hands-on interactive training platform in 10 major programming languages. Learn more about AppSec training for enterprise developers. Speculative bubble or no, perhaps the greatest challenge facing Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, and the broader world of blockchain is the fact that all of these efforts in some way support criminal endeavors. Ive written about how criminal enterprise is largely responsible for the value of Bitcoin , and to be sure, it drives the demand for many alternative cybercurrencies as well. However, regardless of whether you believe cryptocurrency is all about facilitating crime vs. crime being but a small, unfortunate side effect of the rise of crypto coinage, theres no arguing with the fact that global law enforcement recognizes that cryptocurrency is the criminals playground. In fact, four primary areas of criminal activity lend themselves to cryptocurrency: tax evasion, money laundering, contraband transactions, and extortion not to mention the theft of cryptocurrency itself, which is all too easy with Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have actually led to a massive cat and mouse game with law enforcement, as agencies get better at identifying criminal behavior, while criminals come up with new evasion techniques and increasingly anonymous cybercurrencies in order to defeat the efforts of law enforcement. While much o Continue reading >>

How Can Bitcoin Be Used As A Crime Weapon? And How Can This Be Solved?

How Can Bitcoin Be Used As A Crime Weapon? And How Can This Be Solved?

How Can Bitcoin be used as a Crime Weapon? And How Can this Be Solved? This article will briefly examine the existence of bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), how bitcoin has become an integral part of many criminal networks, and possible changes that can be made in the future. While the development of bitcoin and other comparable cryptocurrencies seems to have provided users with a unique array of benefits, these benefits have not come without corresponding risks and costs. Due to the distinctively unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency market, it has naturally been frequently used by a wide variety of criminal enterprises. Legislators around the world continually find themselves in a very unique position. While they do not want to interfere with markets that may be able to eventually regulate themselves, they also do not want to willingly stand by and allow for easier conditions for committing crimes. Furthermore, due to the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges are typically much more difficult to monitor than ordinary electronic transactions and the fact that these exchanges often take place on an international level, there ultimately exists an even more complicated regulatory environment. Though there may not be one clear path forward to a world where cryptocurrency can be both entirely safe and productive, it certainly seems it is worth the effort to consider the possible means of arriving there. This article will briefly examine the existence of bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), how bitcoin has become an integral part of many criminal networks, and possible changes that can be made in the future. Bitcoin which was initially released in January 2009 is the worlds first and most widely recognized form of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange t Continue reading >>

How Bitcoin Plays A Role In Crimes

How Bitcoin Plays A Role In Crimes

Bitcoin ransom were seen as more vulnerable and in many cases were retargeted for higher amounts. Europols officials are expressing concern that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have started to play a growing role in illegal activities. This concern was voiced by Europol officials after law enforcement agencies from countries like Bosnia, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, and Herzegovina met last December. They had gathered to plan and implement ideas to thwart the activities of DD4BC (Distributed Denial of Service for Bitcoin), a group of cybercriminals. DD4BC, the cybercriminals behind the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, operate by extorting money (through Bitcoins) by hijacking the laptops of unsuspecting victims. In addition to targets from the online gambling sites, they also picked targets from high-profile corporate organizations, and financial and entertainment sectors. Wil Van Gemert (Deputy Director [Operations], Europol) detailed the measures taken by such gangs in order to create new threats which law enforcement agencies had to deal with. They employed aggressive methods to silence their victims and threatened them with reputation damage and public exposure of sensitive details of the organization. Europol officials consider that the activities of gangs such as DD4BC have become more established in the recent past and believe that many similar cases go unreported. Europols officials are expressing concern that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have started to play a growing role in illegal activities. That the cybercriminal gang used the Bitcoin as the mode of payment for the money that was extorted from the victims played a decisive role in pinning down the perpetrators of the crime. Operation Pleiades, which was jointly organized by law enfo Continue reading >>

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