Cryptocurrency seizures worth over $ 100 million thanks to US secret services

Cryptocurrency seizures worth over $ 100 million thanks to US secret services - cybercrime as a serviceThis year, cybercrime is back in the spotlight. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and North Korea's missile financing programs have given governments cause for concern.

Last month, news of the Lazarus Group's involvement in this year's Ronin attack highlighted how effective cyberattacks are to finance the government's military hardware.

Tied to the state government, the Lazarus Group is a North Korean cybercriminal syndicate that was behind the April Axie Infinity hack. The April hack was the biggest ever, with cybercriminals taking away $ 625 million, including 173,6k ETH and 25,5m USDC.

The increase in cybercriminal activity has led US government agencies to actively prosecute cybercriminals.

US intelligence joins the list of agencies fighting cybercrime

Tonight, the news hit the wires of the U.S. Secret Service teaming up with other government agencies to tackle cybercrime.

According to a CNBC report, the United States Secret Service is targeting illicit digital currency transactions.

Assistant Director of Investigation David Smith said:

"Agents and analysts actively follow the flow of Bitcoin (quotation BTC) and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain, similar to old-fashioned surveillance ".

Smith added:

“When following a digital currency wallet, it's no different than an email address that has some related identifiers. And once a person and another person make a transaction, and it gets to the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet address, if you like, and track it through the blockchain. "

According to the report, intelligence has seized more than $ 102 million worth of cryptocurrencies since 2015.

Stolen cryptocurrencies transferred to stablecoins

The secret services investigated 254 cases involving Russian and North Korean cybercriminals and one case in collaboration with the Romanian national police.

According to the report, investigators found thieves were transferring the stolen cryptocurrencies into stablecoins. To chart the flow of money, they are watching the market.

Smith concluded by saying:

“Because, you know, criminals, they're human too. They want to avoid some of the market volatility associated with some of the major currencies. "

In addition to the well-publicized task of protecting presidents, the secret services are also involved in financial and cybercrime investigations.

The latest news follows this week's government warning about the threat of more North Korean cyberattacks.

The United States is sounding the alarm bell over the expected increase in cyberattacks

This week, US government agencies issued warnings about the threat of further North Korean cyberattacks.

On Tuesday, FX Empire reported that the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a joint alert with the FBI and the US Treasury Department.

According to the alarm, cybercriminals focus on organizations in the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency industry. These include cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

In March, the FBI created a new virtual assets unit in response to a spike in cybercriminal activity.

With the FBI's Virtual Assets Unit, secret services and other agencies targeting cybercriminals, the seizures of cryptocurrencies from illicit activities could increase this year.