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Bitcoin Forensic Analysis Uncovers Money Laundering Clusters and Criminal Proceeds

Bitcoin Forensic Analysis Uncovers Money Laundering Clusters and Criminal Proceeds
May 01, 2024 Financial Crime / Forensic Analysis
A forensic analysis of a graph dataset containing transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain has revealed clusters associated with illicit activity and money laundering, including detecting criminal proceeds sent to a crypto exchange and previously unknown wallets belonging to a Russian darknet market. The  findings  come from Elliptic in collaboration with researchers from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. The 26 GB dataset, dubbed  Elliptic2 , is a "large graph dataset containing 122K labeled subgraphs of Bitcoin clusters within a background graph consisting of 49M node clusters and 196M edge transactions," the co-authors  said  in a paper shared with The Hacker News. Elliptic2 builds on the  Elliptic Data Set  (aka Elliptic1), a transaction graph that was made public in July 2019 with the goal of  combating financial crime  using graph convolutional neural networks ( GCNs ). The idea, in a nutshell, is to uncover unlawful activity and money laundering patterns by taking advanta

Founder of Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Scheme

Founder of Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Scheme
Dec 08, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Cyber Crime
The Russian founder of the now-defunct Bitzlato cryptocurrency exchange has pleaded guilty, nearly 11 months after he was  arrested in Miami  earlier this year. Anatoly Legkodymov (aka Anatolii Legkodymov, Gandalf, and Tolik), according to the U.S. Justice Department, admitted to operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business that enabled other criminal actors to launder their illicit proceeds. He faces up to five years in prison. "Legkodymov operated a cryptocurrency exchange that was open for business to money launderers and other criminals,"  said  Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "He profited from catering to criminals, and now he must pay the price. Transacting in cryptocurrency does not put you beyond the reach of the law." Bitzlato, which served as a safe haven for fraudsters and ransomware crews such as  Conti , is estimated to have received $2.5 billion in cryptocurrency bet

N. Korean Hackers 'Mixing' macOS Malware Tactics to Evade Detection

N. Korean Hackers 'Mixing' macOS Malware Tactics to Evade Detection
Nov 28, 2023 Malware / Cyber Espionage
The North Korean threat actors behind macOS malware strains such as RustBucket and KANDYKORN have been observed "mixing and matching" different elements of the two disparate attack chains, leveraging RustBucket droppers to deliver KANDYKORN. The  findings  come from cybersecurity firm SentinelOne, which also tied a third macOS-specific malware called ObjCShellz to the RustBucket campaign. RustBucket  refers to an  activity cluster  linked to the Lazarus Group in which a backdoored version of a PDF reader app, dubbed SwiftLoader, is used as a conduit to load a next-stage malware written in Rust upon viewing a specially crafted lure document. The  KANDYKORN campaign , on the other hand, refers to a malicious cyber operation in which blockchain engineers of an unnamed crypto exchange platform were targeted via Discord to initiate a sophisticated multi-stage attack sequence that led to the deployment of the eponymous full-featured memory resident remote access trojan. The t

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SHQ Response Platform and Risk Centre to Enable Management and Analysts Alike

SHQ Response Platform and Risk Centre to Enable Management and Analysts Alike
May 13, 2024Threat Detection / SoC / SIEM
In the last decade, there has been a growing disconnect between front-line analysts and senior management in IT and Cybersecurity. Well-documented challenges facing modern analysts revolve around a high volume of alerts, false positives, poor visibility of technical environments, and analysts spending too much time on manual tasks. The Impact of Alert Fatigue and False Positives  Analysts are overwhelmed with alerts. The knock-on effect of this is that fatigued analysts are at risk of missing key details in incidents, and often conduct time-consuming triaging tasks manually only to end up copying and pasting a generic closing comment into a false positive alert.  It is likely that there will always be false positives. And many would argue that a false positive is better than a false negative. But for proactive actions to be made, we must move closer to the heart of an incident. That requires diving into how analysts conduct the triage and investigation process. SHQ Response Platfo
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