18 Yrs Old Twitter Hacker Gets 3 Years in Prison
Contrary to the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, dozens of cyber-criminals have been caught within the last two years. This is all thanks to new techniques able to track their funds around the cryptocurrency blockchain – a public list of all transactions between wallets.
However, this tide may be turning. A new program was launched on the darknet recently. One which offers criminals a way to see how ‘clean’ their digital coins are.
This service, Antinalysis, is the first of its kind as stated by chief scientist and founder at analysis provider Elliptic, Dr. Tom Robinson. The service basically checks the criminal’s wallets to see whether any association with criminal activity could be flagged by authorities.
Elliptic states the discovery single-handedly demonstrated the evolution of complex cyber-crime networks. Criminals are simply growing more paranoid in being caught and this means bad news for everyone else.
It is immensely valuable to these hackers, as it shows how tainted your funds are, of which you can simply do more laundering to remove association with criminal activity; thus gaining ‘clean’ coins.
However, it is currently not powerful enough to identify links to criminal sites. As Elliptic believes it will improve overtime, governments across the world have been finding more effective ways to crack down on cyber-criminals.
One such way is through cryptocurrency tracking, which saw US teenager Graham Ivan Clark, mastermind behind one of the biggest-ever social media hacks – behind bars.
Clark’s hack began with taking over the Twitter accounts of dozens of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Joe Biden. He and his hacker team then tweeted an advert for a cryptocurrency scam, receiving hundreds of transfers from the public hoping to cash in from the fake giveaway.
In just a few hours, Clark made more than US$100,000, and began the process of moving the fund to hide his tracks.
The US Department of Justice successfully analyzed the blockchain and de-anonymised the Bitcoin transactions.
This allowed for the successful identification of the hackers, and their subsequent arrests.
The 18-year-old, Clark, pleaded guilty and will be serving three years in a Florida prison.