Two Specific Hacker Groups Found Responsible for $1 Billion in Crypto Thefts, Still Actively Hunting
Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics company, recently created a report on the cryptocurrency scams that are in the marketplace. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on this report, which indicated that there are two hacker groups that are believed to have stolen $1 billion in cryptocurrency.
The new report names these hacker groups Alpha and Beta and says that they have been the recipient of most of the money that cryptocurrency scams have stolen. Chief economist for Chainalysis, Philip Gradwell, mentioned in the WSJ article that the likelihood of the situation is that the organizations are still actively performing these kinds of scams.
Chainalysis says that there is a chance that their calculations are not correct, especially considering that the company was unable to figure out the actual identity of the groups.
Chainalysis describes each of the companies, saying that Alpha is “a giant, tightly controlled organization at least partly driven by non-monetary goals. Beta, on the other hand, is smaller, has less orderliness, and is a heavily sanctioned organization heavily focused on the money.”
Based on the information acquired during the research, the funds were transferred about 5,000 times before the hackers used online exchanges to convert it to fiat currency.
Each one of the hacking teams works in a different way. Alpha seems to transfer the crypto assets between addresses with impressive speed after the initial receipt of them.
However, Beta tests to wait for the hype around the recent attack to subside before moving the funds, which sometimes takes up to 18 months to happen. Within a month, Alpha usually has about 75% of the stolen assets moved typically, though Beta cashes out about half within a few days of finally moving them.
Since there are certain anti-money laundering structures in place, the companies will sometimes use regulated exchanges to move the funds after multiple transfers between other exchanges. This helps to conceal that the money was stolen through hacking with the long chain of events.
New attacks seem to be breaking every week. In January, for example, Cryptopia saw $16 million worth of ETH and ERC20 tokens stolen from their accounts, even though there has been much work done to bring it back.