Hackers and fraudsters used crypto bridge RenBridge to launder $540 million, says report

Hackers, fraudsters, and others laundered a minimum of $540 million by means of the cryptocurrency bridge community RenBridge since 2020, in accordance with blockchain evaluation group Elliptic. Elliptic researchers published the report as we speak, citing RenBridge for example of the dangers of decentralized cross-chain networks.

RenBridge is pitched as a technique to simply convert digital currencies like ZCash and Bitcoin to the Ethereum community after which to different blockchains. However “in addition to a reputable software, cross-chain bridges have additionally emerged as a key facilitator of cash laundering,” letting customers keep away from laws and transfer cash simply throughout networks, the report says. That features the proceeds of ransomware operations and theft from different chains.

Cryptocurrency isn’t as untraceable as some customers anticipate, nevertheless it’s nonetheless attainable to masks the sources of funds with particular providers, particularly decentralized ones like Elliptic. And regulators have began to take discover. Earlier this week, the US Division of the Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, a decentralized mixer designed to obscure the sources of crypto. It made a similar move with the mixer Blender.io in Might. In each of these instances, the federal government famous the providers’ alleged use by North Korean hacker teams.

Elliptic’s report equally suggests RenBridge was used to launder cash stolen from Japan’s Liquid crypto network, a hack linked with North Korea. It additionally claims RenBridge is well-liked amongst Russia-linked ransomware operations, saying $153 million in ransomware was laundered by means of the service.

Many different digital providers can be utilized for each crime and noncriminal functions, like privateness and censorship evasion. However decentralized finance or DeFi is particularly rife with theft and hacking, and figuring out chokepoints is doubtlessly helpful for safety analysts and governments alike.

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