Crime

Major cryptocurrency hacks were likely committed by two groups, Chainalysis claims

January 28, 2019, 7:22PM EDT

A new report from Chainalysis suggests that the biggest breaches of the cryptocurrency world were likely not executed by individual hackers, Wall Street Journal writes. Contrary to a popular belief, the analysis of transaction flows has shown that most of the hacks could be attributed to two distinct hacker groups, dubbed Alpha and Beta by the researchers.

While both of the groups established a network of digital wallets to launder the stolen funds before converting them into cash, their overall strategies differed in regards to time and motivation. According to the report, Alpha preferred to move the stolen funds immediately through thousands of transactions, reaching the cash conversion stage in a month’s time on average. Chainalysis claims the organisation could be “at least partly driven by nonmonetary goals.”

Meanwhile, Beta opted to delay moving the stolen funds for as long as 18 months, possibly waiting for the end of any media attention surrounding the breach.

“When they feel ready to cash out, they quickly hit one exchange, cashing out over 50 per cent of funds within days,” Chainalysis stated in the report, adding the group was also “absolutely focused on the money.”