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Europol assists Germany and the US in demolishing ChipMixer’s infrastructure by seizing up to EUR 40 million.
Investigators from Germany, the US, and Europol are putting the spotlight on ChipMixer, a cryptocurrency mixer popular among cyberhackers. Switzerland, Belgium, and Poland also contributed to the study. Federal agencies closed down the system’s network on March 15th and seized four servers, 1909.4 Bitcoins in 55 transactions (or around EUR 44.2 million), 7 TB of data, and about 7 servers due to the site’s possible role in money laundering operations.
What is ChipMixer all about?
Established in the middle of 2017, the illicit crypto mixer ChipMixer focused on mixing or erasing trails on virtual currency ownership. Cybercriminals who wanted to launder the proceeds of illegal activities like credit card fraud, ransomware attacks, drug and firearm trafficking became attracted to the ChipMixer program because of its capacity to hide the blockchain trail of the money. To hide the origin of the initial cash, the deposited money was divided into “chips” (small tokens of identical value).
Crypto assets worth EUR 2.73 billion were “washed” using “chips”
The platform might have made it possible for 152 000 Bitcoins, which are today valued at 2.73 billion Euros and under investigation for their involvement in criminal activities. Dark Web markets, ransomware networks, illegal goods trafficking, the purchase of materials for sexual abuse of children, and stolen crypto assets all play a big role in this. Information acquired following the demise of the Hydra Market Dark Web platform exposed transactions amounting to millions of Euros.
Along with aiding in the management of the mission, Europol encouraged the exchange of information between state organizations of law enforcement. Operational analysis, crypto tracing, and forensic analysis conducted by Europol were used to aid the investigation. Europol also gave analytical support by tying accessible data to a number of criminal cases that occurred both inside and outside the EU. The Joint Cybercrime Action Team of Europol (J-CAT) contributed to the operation as well. The standing working group of this team includes cybercrime liaison officers from numerous nations who collaborate on high-profile cybercrime cases.