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Authorities Dismantle $10 Million Crypto Money Laundering Ring in Spain

Authorities Dismantle $10 Million Crypto Money Laundering Ring in Spain

Authorities Dismantle $10 Million Crypto Money-Laundering Ring in SpainSpanish authorities have dismantled a crypto money laundering ring and frozen 12 crypto wallets that used bitcoin ATMs to transfer 9 million euros.| Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: A crypto money-laundering ring that was offering its services to other criminal enterprises has been dismantled in Spain. The Crime as a Service operation is believed to have laundered approximately $10.08 million (€9 million) using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.Guardia Civil (Spanish Civil Guard) arrested eight people in connection with the crime while charging eight more for involvement. Wallets containing 9 million euros were also frozen. This included 20 hot wallets and four cold wallets, per a statement released by Europol:“Spanish authorities froze four ‘cold wallets’ and 20 ‘hot wallets’, to which €9 million was transferred, as well as several bank accounts.”Unbelievable! Criminal Support Services Providers Were Operating Crypto ATMsFor the smooth operation of their money laundering scheme, the Crime as a Service enterprise operated a cryptocurrency exchange business. This was instrumental in changing fiat currency into crypto assets for their clients. The cryptocurrency exchange business consisted of two bitcoin ATMs which were used to deposit fiat and convert it into crypto.The crypto money-laundering ring also employed smurfing and layering techniques common in money laundering activities. The smurfing involved splitting the dirty money into tranches. They would then deposit the portions in different bank accounts owned by the gang.On the other hand, layering involved moving the funds via several accounts prior to exchanging it for bitcoin.The gang also had various corporate entities which were used to make large deposits to bank accounts. From these accounts, funds would then be wired to cryptocurrency exchanges based abroad.Besides the bitcoin wallets which were frozen, two bitcoin ATMs and cash totaling nearly 17,000 euros were seized in addition to 11 cars, computers, devices, and other properties.Crypto Money Laundering Running RampantThis is not the only crypto money laundering incident to have hit headlines in the recent past. Late last month, the U.S. Department of Justice charged two men who allegedly administered the Deep Dot Web. This is a review site for darknet marketplaces and websites.The two, who are both Israelis, were arrested on different continents. One was apprehended in Paris while the other was nabbed in Israel.Just in: The FBI has seized @DeepDotWeb and arrested its administrators. https://t.co/VUy5XpWzDL— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) May 7, 2019The Deep Dot Web site allegedly generated revenues from referral sales it helped dark-net marketplaces garner from users. Besides the FBI, other government agencies involved in the investigation included the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the IRS’ Cyber Crimes Unit.Crypto Inspires Transnational CooperationOutside the United States, other law enforcement bodies that collaborated included Europol. The Brazilian Federal Police, the Dutch National Police, and the Israeli National Police were also involved.And last month three men were indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for a crypto money laundering operation. In this case, they were indicted for laundering approximately $2.3 million.Manhattan DA Indicts Dark Web Drug Dealers for Laundering $2.3 Million in Bitcoin https://t.co/NnEcy8nHRg— @supremesavages_ (@amoabuggati) April 20, 2019The three apparently used debit cards which were pre-loaded with crypto. They would then withdraw cash amounts from ATMs located in New Jersey and New York. About The AuthorMark EmemAfter words, numbers are my other love… mostly when they are going up and they have nothing to do with taxes or expenses. That makes green my favorite color!
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Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

In the past seven weeks, white hat hackers earned at least $32,150 by fixing security flaws in popular cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms like TRON, Brave, EOS and Coinbase.
According to data reviewed by Hard Fork, 15 blockchain-related firms have paid rewards to security researchers between March 28 and May 16, split across 30 publicly-released bug reports.

Omise, the software firm behind cryptocurrency OmiseGo, fielded the most fixes (six). Blockchain-powered prediction market Augur disclosed three reports, as did Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, which features its own native token.

Projects adjust their HackerOne rewards to the severity the discovered security flaws. Whilst the majority of Omise’s reports were only worth around $100 each, other payments in the past seven weeks were much higher.
Block.one, the firm behind the EOS “blockchain,” rewarded one hacker with $10,000 for a single fix, as did budding network Aeternity.
TRON also paid $3,100 to the researcher who realized the network was susceptible to being flooded with malicious smart contracts, which would have brought its blockchain to a screeching halt.
The amount of hackers who prefer to fix security issues seems to be remaining steady — but sometimes they can make off with much bigger amounts exploiting vulnerabilities themselves.
Indeed, cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed attackers had successfully stolen 7,000 BTC (then $40 million, now $55 million) from its own wallets last week.
Coincidentally, Binance runs its own bug bounty program with a maximum reward of $100,000 for the most critical of vulnerabilities. The Binance hacker remains at large.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:21 UTC

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ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

Despite abandoning plans to build its own Bitcoin wallet, ABN AMRO is not quite done with blockchain tech.
The Dutch banking giant has announced plans to launch a decentralized trade inventory platform in collaboration with Accenture and ING Bank, according to a press release (spotted by CoinDesk).

Codenamed Forcefield, the project will employ Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to provide “real-time insight into trade inventories.” ABN AMRO claims the platform’s monitoring features “will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.”
Upon launch, the project will focus on “refined metals,” but “functionality will be expanded across other dry bulk commodities” in the future.
In addition to ING and Accenture, a number of other companies – including Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, Macquarie, Mercuria, and OCBC Bank – have also signed a memorandum of understanding to join Forcefield.
Back in January, ABN AMRO teased plans to develop its own cryptocurrency wallet, called Wallie. But as Hard Fork reported, the bank has now ditched Wallie as cryptocurrencies are still “too risky.”
“We have approached all the people who have shown interest,” ABN AMRO press officer Jarco de Swart told Hard Fork. “We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets [sic] for our clients to invest in.”
ABN AMRO and ING are hardly the only banks looking to get in on the blockchain hype. Indeed, leading banks – including Barclays and HSBC – reportedly poured $50 million into a blockchain-based digital cash system, expected to launch in 2020.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:00 UTC

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