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Elliptic traces FTX hack funds, suggests possible connection to Russia

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FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, encountered a massive $477 million hack in November 2022 during its tumultuous collapse. Just before the trial of FTX’s founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the previously dormant hacked funds became active. Elliptic analysts have conducted a thorough investigation into the incident, tracing the intricate blockchain trail left by the hackers and implicating Russia.

Insights into the Hack by Elliptic

According to Elliptic’s report, the hackers adeptly concealed their activities by shuffling the stolen assets through a series of complex transactions. They used decentralized exchanges and privacy wallets to complicate the tracing process. Nevertheless, Elliptic successfully traced the funds, noting that the hackers converted a substantial portion into Ether and then distributed it to various addresses. Elliptic’s on-chain investigation also suggests potential links to Russian actors.

Potential FTX Hack-Russia Connection

Elliptic’s findings indicate a potential Russian connection to the FTX hack. The methods employed by the hackers and the subsequent movement of the stolen funds share similarities with techniques commonly associated with Russian cybercriminals.

The research firm’s analysis specifically highlights that the laundering techniques employed after the theft closely resemble methods traditionally linked to Russian cybercriminals. The movement of funds, preference for specific privacy wallets, and use of decentralized exchanges all mirror tactics previously utilized by Russian hackers in similar incidents.

The prompt and effective movement and laundering of the funds also suggest the involvement of a well-organized and experienced group. While there may be a few such entities, established Russian cybercrime groups align with these characteristics.

Elliptic’s investigation not only underscores the significance of advanced blockchain analytics in addressing such challenges but also raises concerns about the geopolitical implications of major cybercrimes. As the digital currency realm expands, comprehending the origins and motives behind such attacks becomes crucial for both security measures and international diplomatic relations.

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