The unidentified hackers who stole 7,000 Bitcoins from cryptocurrency exchange Binance have persisted in utilizing obfuscation techniques to layer and launder the stolen funds, ultimately obscuring the cryptocurrency’s connection from the security breach.
In May, Binance suffered a significant security breach, with hackers successfully stealing 7,000 Bitcoins from the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange. The 7,000 Bitcoins are now valued at over $82 million. Fortunately, Binance was able to fully cover such losses through its SAFU emergency insurance fund.
As a result of the hack, well-known cryptocurrency exchanges began to blacklist the stolen funds. Exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, and Polonlex could freeze the stolen funds if the hackers decide to deposit them into accounts on the exchanges directly.
To avoid being unidentified and apprehended by law enforcement, the hackers have continued to shift the funds in an intricate series of transactions to conceal their connection to the hack. Such laundering activities also permit the hackers to evade control mechanisms implemented by the exchanges.
Small quantities of Bitcoin (BTC) were sent to six cryptocurrency exchanges in the subsequent quantities:
BitPay: 0.0009 BTC
BitX.co (Luno): 0.2987 BTC
BTC-Alpha: 0.0439 BTC
CoinGate: 0.0089 BTC
Huobi: 0.1259 BTC
Kraken: 5.9851 BTC
Such small quantities of Bitcoin were likely used to check if they would be discovered and frozen by the exchanges.
According to a fund activity chart by Blockchain startup Coinfirm, the biggest recipient of funds turned out to be ChipMixer, a Bitcoin mixing service that collectively tumbles hundreds of transactions to obscure the origin of funds. At least, 6.4634 Bitcoins, valued at approximately $76,000, was sent to mixer addresses.
Considering that numerous smaller crypto exchanges are located in unregulated jurisdictions, it appears that the hackers will once again be able to successfully liquidate these stolen funds to fiat via exchanges and convert them to altcoins such as Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), and Zcash (ZEC) which makes tracking increasingly difficult for investigators.