Binance Assists Authorities Arrest Cybercriminals Laundering Illicit Funds

The latest UN statistics show that global money laundering transactions amount to approximately $2 trillion annually. Only a small portion of this huge sum passes through the digital assets system, and those responsible for it are trying to reduce that even further. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has taken the responsibility to ensure the safety and security for the virtual finance industry. This is how it assists legal authorities in removing cybercriminals from laundering money.

$500 Million FANCYCAT Syndicate Bust

Binance made public the news that its security team had participated in an international investigation which led to the capture of a cybercriminal ring. The operation was conducted in cooperation with various authorities around the globe, including the US Law Enforcement, Cyber Bureau of Korea National Police Agency, US Law Enforcement and the Spanish Civil Guard. FANCYCAT is a cybergang that has been involved in multiple criminal activities, including the distribution of cyber attacks, operating a high risk exchanger, laundering money from dark internet operations, and high-profile ransomware attack attacks. Legal authorities estimate that FANCYCAT caused more than $500 million in damages due to ransomware, and many other cybercrimes.

Arrests from Ukraine Cyber Police:

Research has shown that the majority of cases involving illicit cryptocurrency flows onto exchanges are not associated with the criminal group itself, but rather the exchange is being used to launder stolen profits. The Binance security team used a dual-pronged approach for the FANCYCAT investigation to make this clear. Binance used AML detection and an analytics program to detect suspicious activity. Once they had mapped out the entire suspect network, Binance partnered with private sector blockchain companies to analyze the on-chain activity. Binance discovered that the group was involved in laundering ransomware-attack funds as well as other illegally-sourced money. FANCYCAT was eventually arrested.

Binance’s Exchanger Project

Binance made public the news in August 2020 that suspicious activity it detected and analysed by its team led the to the arrest of a cybercriminal group responsible for ransomware campaigns and laundering more than $42,000,000 in cryptocurrencies during the past two years. In collaboration with the Cyber Police of Ukraine, Binance participated in this operation.

Binance had allocated additional resources to its security researchers in 2020 to investigate the ways criminals were laundering funds through “Bulletproof Exchangers”. These cryptocurrency platforms often act as cash-out points for crypto operations that are connected to financial crimes or other fraud. Bulletproof Exchangers are known for their relaxed know-your-customer and anti-money laundering policies. Data analysis revealed that these exchangers are often located in areas with little enforcement or regulation. This means they have a high percentage of transactions linked to high-risk categories like ransomware attacks and exchange hacks.

These examples demonstrate that Binance is serious about helping authorities fight money laundering. Binance has already contributed its manpower, expertise, and resources to this cause. This led to the arrest of criminals responsible in large part for the hundreds of millions in damages. It is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and has unique capabilities to combat cybercrime through its big data capabilities, industry partnerships, and many other resources.

Follow the Binance Blog to learn more about what the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is doing for the security and safety of the ecosystem.