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ALERT: Malicious Crypto Browser Extension—Masked MetaMask

UPDATE: 12/03/2020 The MetaMask phisher continues to buy sponsored ads on MetaMask search results. The company urges users to “use direct links, and if you need to use search, watch out for sponsored links!” Sponsored ads for the fraudulent maskmeha[.]io seem to have been displaced by meramaks[.]io 12/02/2020 Within the past 24 hours, CipherTrace has…

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FinCEN’s Proposed Rule Change for Travel Rule Threshold Would More Than Double Compliance Events at US VASPs

This blog is an excerpt from the upcoming CipherTrace 2020 Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report In October 2020 FinCEN released a proposed rule change, lowering the threshold for travel rule information sharing and retention from $3,000 to $250 for all cross-border payments involving US financial institutions The proposed new rule will definitely apply to…

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Nearly $1B from Silk Road Move for First Time Since 2015

UPDATE: According to a November 5 US Department of Justice complaint, the 69000+ BTC (and the BCH, BSV, and BTG equivalents) that were moved earlier this week were in fact seized by the US DOJ. The complaint adds that the individual that moved the funds (Individual X) was able to hack into Silk Road back…

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FinCEN, OFAC Warn VASPs of Potential Sanctions Violations for Allowing Customers to Pay Ransomware

As the severity and sophistication of ransomware attacks continue to rise across various sectors around the world, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence issued two advisories to assist US individuals and businesses in efforts to combat ransomware scams and attacks.  VASPs Face Sanctions Violation Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments  The US Department of the Treasury’s… Read more

SANCTIONS ALERT: More Russian Crypto-Related Designations

SANCTIONS UPDATE: On September 16, 2020, two Russian nationals were added to OFAC’s SDN List for their involvement in a sophisticated phishing campaign that targeted customers of two US-based and one foreign-based virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in 2017 and 2018 . This attack resulted in combined losses of at least $16.8 million. The designation…

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FATF Releases Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing 

On Monday, September 14, 2020, FATF released a report on Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators. This report is meant to assist reporting entities, including financial institutions (FIs), designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), and VASPs. The red flag indicators are an excellent start and are mostly focused on indicators of money laundering for VASPs.  The… Read more

SANCTIONS ALERT: New Russian Crypto-Related Designations

SANCTIONS UPDATE: On September 10, 2020, four individuals were added to OFAC’s SDN List for attempting to influence the US electoral process. Three of the designated individuals were linked to supporting the cryptocurrency accounts of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)—a Russian “troll farm” tied to influence operations abroad on behalf of Russian political interests. According…

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Best Practices for Monitoring Virtual Currency-Related Transactions at Your Bank

Existing FinCEN regulations clearly state that it is the responsibility of all financial institutions to identify and report suspicious activity concerning how criminals and other bad actors exploit CVCs for money laundering, sanctions evasion, and other illicit financing purposes. These requirements apply to all financial institutions, even if those financial institutions do not directly buy,… Read more

Twitter Hackers Arrested—Blockchain Analysis Traces the Bitcoin to Teenage Hackers

UPDATED 7/31 Three Charged for Role in Twitter Hack On July 31, three individuals were charged for their alleged roles in the July 15 Twitter hack— Mason Sheppard, aka “Chaewon,” 19, from the United Kingdom; Nima Fazeli, aka “Rolex,” 22, from Florida; and a juvenile whose identity is sealed. According to San Francisco FBI Special…

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Twitter Hacked—Insiders Compromise Social Media Giant

On July 15, Twitter accounts for multiple high-profile cryptocurrency exchanges, public figures, and various entities were taken over by hackers promoting a Bitcoin Doubler scam. Shortly after 12pm PST, the Twitter accounts for AngeloBTC, Binance, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, CoinDesk, Coinbase, Gemini, Kucoin, and Tron Founder Justin Sun were taken over by most likely the… Read more
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