One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Binance, has once again helped a law enforcement agency in taking down cyber criminals, this time in Ukraine, the firm said in a blog post on 18 August.
According to the announcement, the exchange’s internal data security team worked together with Ukraine’s cyber police in busting a group of individuals involved in a $42 million ransomware and money laundering scheme. The criminal organization has been operating since 2018, laundering millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, but with the help of Binance, the Ukrainian law enforcement agency was able to finally arrest them in June 2020.
The Chief of the Ukrainian Cyber Police, Oleksandr Hrynchak, said in a statement:
“Because the digital currency market has a large number of financial transactions with money obtained from hacker attacks on international companies, the spread of malicious software, theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign companies and individuals – the Department of Cyberpolice with Binance and its methodological assistance, promotes more prompt detection of those involved in such offenses.”
With the exchange’s help, the Ukrainian Cyber Police force was able to arrest three suspects in June, and also confiscated around $200,000 in computer equipment, weapons, ammunition, cash and digital evidence. While the group mainly operated in Ukraine, it was involved in several cyber attacks on a global scale.
Binance started helping the law enforcement agency in early 2020 as part of its “Bulletproof Exchangers” project, which tracks down transactions between the exchange and high risk entities. The investigation was mainly carried out by Binance’s internal risk intelligence unit, Binance Sentry, which worked with blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs in detecting, and then identifying the criminal group.
While this appears to be the first successful collaboration under Binance’s “Bulletproof Exchangers” initiative, it is not the first time the exchange has helped a law enforcement agency. Back in September 2019, the exchange also aided the Cyber Crime Unit of the U.K. Metropolitan Police in investigating a criminal involved in the theft of £41.6 million.