Binance’s Operation Infiltrates Fancycat Cybercriminal Ring

Binance managed to infiltrate the Fancycat Cybercriminal organization by closely cooperating with international law enforcement. 

International law enforcement agencies working with Binance, the biggest exchange in the world, exposed Fancycat, an international network of hackers involved in over $500 million worth of cyber crimes during the summer of 2021. 

Working with Interpol, cyber police units from many countries such as the US, Switzerland, Ukraine, Spain, and Korea raided more than 20 locations in Kyiv during June with the purpose of finding the hackers that were allegedly using ransomware, an incredibly dangerous software to commit a number of virtual crimes including American and Korean companies and institutions.

In elaborating on the operation and cooperation with international law enforcement agencies, Binance noted in a blog post that these efforts along with organizations of security and blockchain analytics are critical factors to maintaining a crypto industry that is safe from malicious cyber attacks. 

Even though cyber attacks are not that common given the formidable infrastructure of blockchain technology, still the small 1% is subjected to vulnerabilities to ransomware. Ransomware represents hazardous malware that is a threat to public and private institutions, and these elaborate attacks have been more frequent during 2021. 

According to the Wired UK, Germany suffered a ransomware attack on the emergency department infrastructure: a woman died because the entire digital system of the emergency department was digitally immobilized. 

According to Binance, in the case of the crypto industry, VASPs or virtual asset service providers are the go-to spaces for hackers to create an industry-wide cloud while using ransomware. 

Cybercriminals and hackers when committing financial crimes and fraud use so-called Bulletproof Exchangers to cash out. Bulletproof Exchangers are frequently used as cash-out hubs, and these platforms are breeding grounds for ransomware attacks because they are lenient in enforcing KYC and AML regulations. 

Related: Binance Will Fight Money Laundering by Recruiting Former IRS Officer

Binance’s cooperation with foreign law enforcement was not limited to the Fancycat operation. In 2020, Binance together with the Ukrainian Cyber Police launched the Bulletproof Exchanger Project, a specialized anti-ransomware program, which yielded the infiltration of a hacker network that was allegedly laundering illegal assets north of $42 million.

However, in addition to collaborating with law enforcement agencies, the exchange is working with Crystal, a company built on the blockchain tech firm Bitfury that deals with analytics business and TRM in order to better its own procedures of detection. Binance has added measures to help single out and close illegitimate operations in order to combat the ransomware menace. The Binance Sentry team and Security Data Science, the subsidiary analytics branch created and operated these to identify exchanges occurring between risky enterprises and Binance itself. 

Binance and its analytical associates, for one, were capable of monitoring on-chain activities even before the Fancycat raid and obtaining a deeper picture of the gang and its connections to the wider criminal global web. They mapped the suspect circuit and discovered that it was connected to Clop, and Petya, another ransomware operation, using data sets and recognition algorithms developed on previous attacker data to identify possibly suspicious operations. Binance supported that the study was crucial in identifying Fancycat and led to the seizure and arrest of the network participants.

Being a crypto industry bounty hunter is quite a profitable undertaking. The US State Department has fueled the incentive of tracking online bounties by offering rewards in cryptocurrencies to any member of the dark web that has information on hacker attacks that could threaten national security, by allocating $10 million to the initiative. 

As such, Binance is committed to expanding its investigations on cybercrimes that happen in the crypto realm, especially through the utilization of big data techniques.

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