BTC-e crypto thief faces 25 years for laundering $4B

Feb 07 2024

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Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that laughs in the face of cyber dange mwahahaha ????????????????????

Today’s hottest cybersecurity news stories:

  • ???? Belarusian BTC-e crypto thief faces 25 years for laundering $4B ????

  • ???? USA clamps down on illegal use of spyware w/ visa restrictions ????

  • ???? ‘ResumeLooters’ steal millions of CVs from job boards in APAC ????

BTC-e ya later mate ????️????????


???? Alleged BTC-e Operator Faces Money Laundering Charges ????????

Aliaksandr Klimenka, a 42-year-old Belarusian and Cypriot national allegedly tied to the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, has been extradited to the U.S. and faces charges related to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money services business. ????️‍♂️????

BTC-e, operational since 2011, was seized in July 2017 amid accusations of laundering over $4 billion, including funds from the infamous Mt. Gox hack. Court documents describe the exchange as a hub for cybercrime and money laundering, facilitating illicit activities such as hacking, ransomware, and narcotics distribution. ????

???? The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that Klimenka maintained and leased servers for BTC-e, playing a crucial role in its operations. Additionally, the exchange failed to implement anti-money laundering (AML) processes or know-your-customer (KYC) verifications, as required by U.S. law.

???? In a related case, Russian nationals Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner were charged for their involvement in the 2014 Mt. Gox heist, further highlighting the interconnected nature of cybercrime networks. Meanwhile, Noah Michael Urban, associated with the Scattered Spider cybercrime group, faces charges for wire fraud and identity theft.

???? These developments underscore the ongoing battle against cybercrime, with law enforcement agencies targeting individuals and groups involved in cryptocurrency-related offences. The recent announcement of charges against individuals linked to a SIM swapping attack on crypto exchange FTX demonstrates the breadth and complexity of these criminal operations.

????️ As authorities continue to crackdown on illicit activities in the crypto space, blockchain analytics firms like Elliptic play a crucial role in tracking and identifying suspicious transactions. Collaboration between governments and private entities is essential in combating cyber threats and safeguarding the integrity of financial systems. ????????


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US: No visas vis-à-vis your snooping ????????⛔

???? U.S. Implements Visa Restrictions to Combat Misuse of Commercial Spyware ????️‍♂️????

In a significant move aimed at safeguarding privacy and human rights, the U.S. State Department has introduced a new policy imposing visa restrictions on individuals associated with the illegal use of commercial spyware to surveil civil society members. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasised the threat posed by the misuse of such technology, linking it to violations of fundamental freedoms and even grave human rights abuses.

???? The policy targets individuals who unlawfully surveil, harass, suppress, or intimidate others using commercial spyware, as well as those who profit from its misuse. It also extends to the private sector companies developing and selling these spyware tools, known as private sector offensive actors (PSOAs). While the enforcement of these restrictions for individuals with visa waiver eligibility remains unclear, executives affected by the ban may lose eligibility for the visa waiver program, requiring them to apply for a visa to enter the U.S.

????️ This development follows revelations by Access Now and the Citizen Lab regarding the targeting of journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists in Jordan with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The U.S. government’s sanctions against NSO Group and Candiru in 2021 underscore its commitment to holding spyware vendors accountable for malicious activities.

????️ The broader landscape of commercial spyware is complex, with dozens of vendors like Cy4Gate and Negg Group enabling governments to deploy sophisticated surveillance tools against individuals. Google’s Threat Analysis Group highlights the significant role played by private sector entities in the proliferation of surveillance technology, emphasising the need for enhanced regulation and oversight.

As the global market for commercial cyber intrusion software expands, governments face growing challenges in combating cyber threats while protecting individual rights and freedoms.

The U.S. visa restrictions represent a proactive step towards addressing these challenges and promoting accountability in the use of surveillance technology. ????️????

???? Catch of the Day!! ????????????

???? The Motley Fool: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Good ol’ George Dubya ???? Let us tell who’s not fooling around though; that’s the Crüe ???? at Motley Fool. You’d be a fool (alright, enough already! ????) not to check out their Share Tips from time to time so your savings can one day emerge from their cocoon as a beautiful butterfly! ???? Kidding aside, if you check out their website they’ve actually got a ton of great content with a wide variety of different investment ideas to suit most budgets ???? (LINK)

???? Wander: Find your happy place. Cue Happy Gilmore flashback ????️⛳????????️ Mmmm Happy Place… ???? So, we’ve noticed a lot of you guys are interested in travel. As are we! We stumbled upon this cool company that offers a range of breath-taking spots around the United States and, honestly, the website alone is worth a gander. When all you see about the Land of the free and the home of the brave is news of rioting, looting and school shootings, it’s easy to forget how beautiful some parts of it are. The awe-inspiring locations along with the innovative architecture of the hotels sets Wander apart from your run of the mill American getaway ????️???? (LINK)

???? Digital Ocean: If you build it they will come. Nope, we’re not talking about a baseball field for ghosts ???????? (Great movie, to be fair ????). This is the Digital Ocean who’ve got a really cool platform for building and hosting pretty much anything you can think of. If you check out their website you’ll find yourself catching the buzz even if you can’t code (guilty ????). But if you can and you’re looking for somewhere to test things out or launch something new or simply enhance what you’ve got, we’d recommend checking out their services fo’ sho ???? And how can you not love their slogan: Dream it. Build it. Grow it. Right on, brother! ???? (LINK)

Hackers: Resume see… Job’s a good’un! ????????????

????️ Beware of ResumeLooters: APAC Companies Under Attack! ????????

A new threat actor dubbed ResumeLooters has been targeting employment agencies and retailers across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region since early 2023, aiming to pilfer sensitive data. Singapore-based Group-IB uncovered the hacking group’s activities, highlighting breaches on 65 websites between November and December 2023.

???? The stolen data, totaling over 2 million records, includes user details like names, phone numbers, emails, and even job seekers’ employment history. Security researcher Nikita Rostovcev warns of SQL injection attacks used to snatch user databases, with the stolen information peddled in Telegram channels.

???? Most compromised websites hail from India, Taiwan, Thailand, and other APAC nations, but incidents have also been reported globally. ResumeLooters’ tactics involve leveraging tools like sqlmap for SQL injections and deploying malicious scripts to hijack administrator credentials.

???? The motive behind the attacks appears to be financial gain, with ResumeLooters setting up Telegram channels to sell stolen data. Rostovcev emphasises the importance of robust security measures, noting the prevalence of outdated yet effective SQL attacks and the group’s relentless pursuit of vulnerabilities, including XSS exploits.

Stay vigilant against cyber threats and fortify your defences! ???????? And don’t let this put you off your job hunt! ✊ Stay safe cyber squad ????️

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