The May hacking of Binance has taught us lots of lessons. Amongst those lessons though has been a thorough education on how criminals try to launder their stolen funds, and Clain, a crypto forensics firm, has been watching the money trail very closely. On August 7, the lesson we learned was how crypto tumblers are a vital tool for criminals.
In their latest report, “Binance Hack 2019 – A Deep Dive Into Money Laundering And Mixing,” Clain reveals what they know about the hackers activity, and specifically their use of crypto tumbler Chipmixer to launder some of the 7074 SegWitCoin (BTC) they stole.
They reveal how they were able to track the funds to the service:
It was pretty straightforward to trace the hacker’s subsequent steps as it is practically impossible to launder big volume of coins in a relatively short period of time. Thus, we were able to detect the initial pool of hacker’s addresses.
In total, they estimate 4836 BTC was laundered through the service so far. Of that amount, they can confirm anywhere between 183 BTC to 1000 BTC can still be tracked as confirmed funds from the hack. How can they make that bold claim, when Chipmixer is a service that’s supposed to shroud funds in mystery? “Chipmixer was bombarded with inflow of the hacker’s funds in the magnitude it never operated before,” they explain. “Because of this huge volume, it is correct to assume that any outflow coming from Chipmixer these days is likely related to the same owner.”
As a happy outcome of their investigation, they note they also stumbled upon 1032 BTC they suspect came from the BitPoint exchange hack. They’re going to further look into that.
There’s two really interesting lessons to take from this. Firstly, no matter what anyone, crypto tumblers aren’t a method to hide from the state. They clearly don’t work, as Clain has proven in continuing to track the Binance hackers. They help fool desperate and conspiracy minded people into using a service that just simply doesn’t work.
And who are those desperate people? Criminals. In a single report, Clain points to two different hacks using the same crypto mixing service to try and launder their money.
This goes to prove an age old lesson: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.
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