Cellebrite, a digital intelligence vendor, recently launched its new crypto tracer solution. The tool is set to help state and local police to investigate Cybercrime more effectively.
Powered by crypto intelligence vendor CipherTrace Inspector, the tool is designed to give investigators visibility into the “lifespan of cryptocurrency transactions”. It maps where the money went and how it changed hands by curating large amounts of data points from both open and private sources.
As the company states, the product will give law enforcement agencies the ability to track illicit cryptocurrency transactions better. The tool also empowers these law enforcement agencies to obtain evidence and trace criminals who use cryptocurrencies for illegal activities: money laundering, terrorism, and ransomware, including others.
The Rise of Cybercrimes
A source working with Cellebrite, after 20 years as a federal law enforcement official focused on digital investigations, released a statement. He is of the opinion that cryptocurrency-related crimes have escalated in a concise time.
Even though crypto has been around since 2009, significant crimes came onto the limelight only in 2011. Since that time, he says, crypto has become a currency fiat to criminal elements. It is mentioned in money laundering schemes, human trafficking, ransomware, and mortgage fraud.
Hackers on the Loose Even After Investigations
The successful prosecution of ransomware hackers remains rare. In the hacks, Computer Crime units collaborate with the FBI and other federal authorities to investigate how the ransomware attacks occurred. Even after this, the most high profile incidents from recent years, like Baltimore, show no arrests were ever made.
Even though blockchain is open-source, it is also pseudonymous, whereby its participants’ identities are hidden. Locating a cybercriminal can be extremely difficult. It also involves jurisdictional challenges when the hacker is located in another country.
Cellebrite seems to provide a solution for such cases. The tool can identify the geographic address of a crypto-criminal’s Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP), the forum where cryptocurrency can be translated into actual cash.
John Jefferies, a chief financial analyst at CipherTrace, stated that the most valuable information they can get about the hacker is the transaction ID. They can also get the name of the VASP, where the hacker is trying to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat. Sometimes they can also get the hacker’s IP address, making tracking hackers down even more effortless.
The tool can be seen as a first in providing solutions for cybercrimes. New inventions are likely to come up as a way of increasing safety while using cryptocurrencies, as the transition to digital currency is becoming increasingly popular.