The first deputy director of the Information Security Department of the Bank of Russia, Artem Sychev, told TASS that the central bank monitors methods of withdrawing funds and develops additional protective measures. Per the bank, criminals prefer to cash stolen money out rather than withdraw them with digital currency. Sychev said:
“In the Russian Federation, this [withdrawing of stolen funds with crypto] is used very rarely. Yes, sometimes cryptocurrencies are used to withdraw funds, but now it is not widespread, because it is much easier for an attacker to get cash.”
Sychev added that fraudsters use a bank card to withdraw stolen money, however not more than two to four times, at which point they subsequently get rid of it. Sychev continued:
“It is not so important what technology will be developed in the near future — artificial intelligence or robotization. It is more important for us to understand what technologies and methods an attacker can use not only for an attack, but also for withdrawing money. Our vector of attention will be turned to that direction. For example, if we see that attackers learn to quickly withdraw money through some specific channel, we will accordingly build additional measures of protection.”
As recently reported, blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis claimed that 64% of ransomware attack cash-out strategies involve the laundering of funds through cryptocurrency exchanges. Among other ransomware cash-out strategies analyzed, 12% involved mixing services and 6% involved peer-to-peer networks, while others went via merchant services providers or dark web marketplaces. 9% of ransomware proceeds reportedly remain unspent.
Another report by Chainalysis revealed that at least 95% of cryptocurrency crimes investigated by law enforcement involve bitcoin (BTC). The company’s COO Jonathan Levin said that law enforcement needs to take more sophisticated approaches to tackle darknets and warned that the crypto industry was starting to see the beginnings of terrorism financing.