Russian Agents Used Bitcoin To Help Fund DNC Hack: US Department of JusticeJuly 13, 2018 10:12 pm
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced on Friday Russian hackers chose bitcoin as their cryptocurrency of choice to help fund their criminal activity in targeting several Democratic groups and candidates during the 2016 election, according to Bloomberg.
The 12 indicted Russian intelligence officials used the virtual currency to purchase servers, register domains, and make other payments related to their hacking efforts, according to the indictment that stemmed from the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Many of those transactions were processed by U.S. companies.
“To facilitate the purchase of infrastructure used in their hacking activity — including hacking into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and releasing the stolen documents — the defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin,” the U.S. said.
The Russian officers are part of the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU and stole several usernames and passwords of volunteers working for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The hackers also targeted her campaign chairman, John Podesta, and the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee starting in March 2016.
The indictment did not reveal all the evidence behind the charges but described how the hackers mined Bitcoin to pay a Romanian company to register the domain name “dcleaks.com” which they used to hide their Russian identities.
The hackers also used BItcoin using peer-to-peer exchanges to help transfer the funds through other cryptocurrencies and also used prepaid cards.
“The use of Bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds,” the Department of Justice said.
–WN.com, Maureen Foody