Poloniex Hacker Moves Enormous $32 Million in Bitcoin

Tue, 04/30/2024 - 08:49
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A significant movement of Bitcoin traced back to a Poloniex hacker-labeled address has occurred. Approximately 501 BTC, valued at around $32 million, were distributed across three new addresses in what appears to be an attempt to hide the origins of the stolen funds.

The largest transaction involved the transfer of 486.62 BTC, worth approximately $30.8 million, to a single address. Additionally, two smaller amounts of 10 BTC and 5 BTC, valued at about $623,000 and $316,000, respectively, were moved to separate addresses. These transactions raise some concerns as the hacker might be trying to hide their tracks in order to liquidate those funds in the foreseeable future.

One prevalent use case for such movements by hackers is to engage in cryptocurrency mixing services. These services blend illicit funds with clean crypto to obscure the trail that leads back to their criminal origins. By distributing the stolen assets in varied amounts across multiple addresses, the hacker increases the complexity of tracing these funds back to any illegal activity.

Beyond mixing services, other strategies might include using decentralized exchanges, which typically require no identity verification and provide additional anonymity. Hackers can trade the stolen Bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies or tokens, further complicating the tracing process. However, most exchanges use AML protocols and procedures to avoid working with funds gained via illicit activities.

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Another method involves the purchase of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Monero or Zcash, which offer enhanced anonymity features; converting the Bitcoin into these currencies can significantly reduce traceability. Moreover, layering these transactions through multiple digital wallets across various platforms can make it nearly impossible for investigators to follow the money trail.

For now, however, the funds are easily traceable, and there is no possible way for the hacker to get away with it at this point in the investigation.