FBI Collaborates With Ukraine Police To Defeat 9 Crypto Laundering Sites
- Nine cryptocurrency exchanges accused of aiding and abetting cybercrime have had their domain names confiscated by the FBI and Ukrainian law enforcement.
- The sites are thought to have been utilized by cybercriminals such as ransomware gang members and online scammers.
- Visitors to these websites will now face an official seizure notice.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and police in Ukraine have joined forces to shut down nine cryptocurrency exchanges that they believe were helping to facilitate cybercrime.
According to a May 1 press release, the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and the National Police of Ukraine conducted coordinated, court-authorized activity that resulted in the shutdown and seizure of the domains of nine virtual currency exchange services.
“Domain names offered by organizations which were engaged in cryptocurrency conversions and provided assistance to cybercriminals were seized, and related servers were shut down,” said the US Department of Justice (DoJ) when announcing the move.
The seized domains included the websites 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, trust-exchange.org, and bitcoin24.exchange. Each reportedly offered entirely anonymous digital currency exchange services to their users, skirting many of the rules and regulations required of licensed crypto exchanges.
Anyone visiting the domain names, which previously offered their services in Russian and English, can now expect to find a banner declaring them seized by federal authorities under suspicion of operating an unlicensed money service business and laundering money.
These rogue, unlicensed crypto exchanges have been described by the Bureau as important hubs in the cybercrime ecosystem.
The agency claims that many of them were promoted on online forums dedicated to discussing criminal activity. On top of that, the FBI noted:
“Much of the criminal activity occurring at the affected exchanges involved cyber actors responsible for ransomware, but also other scammers, and cybercriminals.”
In recent months, the FBI has been actively involved in various cryptocurrency-related investigations and operations. At the end of April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the house of former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame.
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