The most recent high-profile hack faced by Twitter saw a number of popular people posting that users of the social network’s platform could win a certain amount of money if they have sent them digital currency. An investigation has been held by a blockchain forensics firm to reveal that some of the funds that scammers gained through the fraud may have been laundered through gambling websites.
At the time, some of the most popular Twitter accounts, including Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the former US Vice President Joe Biden, had their accounts hacked. After analyzing the e-wallet addresses posted in their profiles, CipherTrace found out that an overall amount of 13.1364 Bitcoin, which is about $144,000, was sent to the scammers.
Of the total amount mentioned above, the forensics managed to trace 0.018 Bitcoin, or about $200. The traces led to a digital currency gambling website, where the scammers have tried to launder the money and cash it out.
As CasinoGamesPro already reported, the fraudsters also used a technique known as a “peel chain”, which allowed them to launder the money they received by sending the funds around to a number of e-wallets before using them to make deposits to gambling websites. According to reports, about 0.2 Bitcoin ($2,192) was processed by using the peer-to-peer exchange method of transferring the money through a chain of e-wallets before it reached its final destination.
Gambling Companies Used in the Money-Laundering Scheme of the Hackers
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are often promoted for their ability to keep the anonymity of users. However, law enforcement authorities and forensic firms such as CiperTrace are able to use the blockchains’ inherent auditing powers to trace the money and reach the scammers. Still, such an investigation cannot do much to deal with gambling companies that are supposed to be in line with strict anti-money laundering requirements. In case the controversial funds are frozen, the gambling operator that processes such funds has little to do about it.
The breach, during which the hackers were able to gain access to some high-profile Twitter accounts, was used to promote a digital currency scam to regular users, encouraging them to send Bitcoin to certain e-wallet addresses owned by the hackers. Apart from that, the scammers also published a number of tweets encouraging users to send XRP to a Ripple address. As the investigation of the blockchain analytic firms and the FBI showed, no XRP was sent to the address.
It is yet unknown what will happen to gambling companies that have been involved in the money-laundering scheme of the fraudsters. Gambling operators would probably want to have nothing to do with stolen money and would highlight the fact that coin mixers and “peel chains” of e-wallets are aimed at keeping the anonymity of the funds, making them hard to trace.