Written by Staff Writer Staff Writer
The FBI has seized approximately $2.3 million in digital currency that was tied to ransomware attacks targeting several unnamed businesses and private individuals.
Federal authorities issued an undercover FBI order on April 26, 2017, to the owner of an Internet cryptocurrency exchange, according to a notice from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Monday.
This came after the FBI obtained a search warrant for that exchange and seized hundreds of thousands of dollars of digital currency allegedly tied to ransomware attacks.
One of the encrypted files was a public seed bitcoin wallet file containing the names and addresses of owners of the cryptocurrency bitcoin wallets.
The authorities said they discovered the exchange was also being used to illegally distribute other illegal digital currencies such as Monero, which are difficult to trace because there are no public records of its owners.
Those currencies are mined by using computers to generate digital currencies as a form of decentralization and security.
Digital currency is popular among criminals because it enables anonymous transactions.
While computers and smartphones run security programs to prevent seizures or other thefts, there are websites that help people buy and sell digital currencies anonymously.
The government said it had received “virtually no cooperation or information” from the alleged hacker or on the victims of ransomware attacks.