WannaCry ransom funds were moved from Bitcoin to Monero, and now the exchanges involved are assisting police to find the perpetrators.
Criminals sent over five BTC in multiple transactions via the instant service that doesn’t require revealing identities.
Now, Changelly is assisting Europol in tracing those behind the transactions, hoping it will lead to a better understanding of the parties at the center of the attack.
Cointelegraph spoke to Changelly CEO Konstant Gladych about the process and what it means for instant exchange services.
Cointelegraph: What kind of information are the police asking for?
Konstantin Gladych: Currently, we’re in touch with the European Cybercrime Center and provide them with all information needed. In particular, they are asking for the wallet addresses the perpetrators were sending coins, currencies, IP-addresses and emails registered.
CT: What's your impression of the way law enforcement understands cybercrime involving cryptocurrency?
KG: Unfortunately, such an issue happens occasionally. From time to time, we have to respond to the requests of police departments promptly. We can admit that investigation level increases and several services are allowing to track transactions quickly. This is achieved, most likely, due to Blockchain transparency.
CT: What do you think about the choice of Monero as a destination currency? Does it suggest anything about the purposes of the perpetrators?
KG: Monero is an anonymous cryptocurrency that hides its sender, amount and recipient by mixing transactions, so it’s a reasonable choice as a destination currency. However, there is a blind spot. The quantity of transactions in the Monero Blockchain is insufficient to provide full anonymity, and the major part of transactions can be decoded revealing all the payment details.
CT: Do you think those behind WannaCry are in fact North Korea-sponsored operators or is this less likely in your opinion?
KG: Actually, we don’t know. In fact, it doesn’t matter, since crimes have no borders. All we can say is that the hackers were rather unprofessional and made a great noise gaining nothing.
CT: How do you think it is possible to prevent illicit activities on crypto-only exchange services where identification procedures are not applicable?
KG: We fight against theft uniting our efforts with a range of partners, including MyEtherWallet, Poloniex and other services. We've blacklisted all the wallet addresses involved in the crime and provided the police with all information on demand. Due to coin mixing, however, 100 percent defense is impossible even with KYC implemented. Hopefully, there will be services providing ultimate solutions for such kind of issues.