Research by Chainanalysis, a blockchain analysis firm has revealed that two groups are the primary actors behind hacked cryptocurrencies. The groups which are unidentified, are said to be responsible for the major cryptocurrencies losses incurred through a hack, reports Wall Street Journal on January 28.
Two Groups Are Responsible on the Major Hack of Cryptocurrencies
According to Chainanalysis, two groups which are probably still active have benefitted the most from the hack of cryptocurrencies. The company also said that their findings might be wrong given that it could take about three months to track stolen funds. However, they pointed out that the duo has probably stolen up to $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
The blockchain analytics company also said they are unable to identify the actors behind the crime. Nonetheless, these hackers have been grouped into Alpha and Beta. Alpha is reportedly less focused on the financial gains from their deeds in comparison to Beta, which is a “heavily sanctioned organization heavily focused on the money.”
Funds are Moved Across Wallets 5,000 Times to Hide Footprint
Describing how either group successfully move these funds, the firm stated that the hackers could shuffle stolen digital assets up to 5,000 times before cashing out in fiat currency. The movement of these cryptocurrencies is said to disallow its traceability which makes it difficult for exchanges to detect that they were illegally obtained.
While this mode of operations is similar to the duo, the blockchain analytics company also revealed that Alpha might start moving funds between wallets immediately. Beta, on the other hand, may wait for sometime before trying to conceal the source of the digital assets. In the case of Beta, they could wait for over a year before actually withdrawing the fiat equivalent of these cryptocurrencies.
Cybercrime is on the Rise Given the Larger User Base
Cybercrime is on the rise, and since more people have entered the crypto industry, it gives these attackers a larger market to employ their tricks. BTCNN has reported some cases related to hacked funds on exchanges and even those owned by individuals. In the case of the latter, a victim of a SIM swap attack lost over $23 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
BTCNN on January 15 also reported of a security breach on Cryptopia, a New Zealand exchange. Although the matter is under investigation, the latest report reveals that another attack has occurred where 1,675 ETH was stolen. Nevertheless, this is not the first exchange to have faced such attack because, in January 2018, Coincheck exchange also lost $530 million worth of NEM tokens.