Hackers, who scammed over 400 payments in Bitcoin, valued at $121,000 by hijacking verified Twitter accounts, have possibly left behind a trail of digital footprints that law enforcement agencies and investigators could follow to track them down. Though Bitcoin allows users to hide their personal identity, the Bitcoin transactions are recorded on the blockchain, making it public and discoverable. These transactions can provide valuable information and hint at clues about the accounts or digital wallets where the Bitcoins were moved.
In an unprecedented event, the world was sent into shock when a group of hackers on July 15, 2020, hacked the Twitter accounts of several politicians, celebrities, billionaires, and cryptocurrency exchanges. Hackers tweeted out messages from these hijacked accounts asking users to send Bitcoins to a digital wallet linked to the website cryptoforhealth.com to get them doubled.
According to the cryptocurrency compliance firm Elliptic, Bitcoin was initially transferred to three digital wallets. However, once funds started to flow in, hackers moved them to 12 different digital wallets. Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson stated that one of these wallets has been active since May 2020 and was involved in transacting with the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. and cryptocurrency payment firms BitPay and CoinPayments.
In another revelation by the U.S. blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis, one of the digital wallets used to perform the Bitcoin transfer was linked with cryptocurrency firms.
As per reports, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has been assigned to lead a federal investigation into the Bitcoin scam. Among other investigative moves, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory urging cryptocurrency exchanges to reach out to them if they have information about any suspicious activities related to the Twitter hacking.
These clues could aid law enforcement agencies in tracking Bitcoin scams. As the Bitcoin ledger contains records of all the transactions made, it would not be difficult for law enforcement agencies and investigators to trace Bitcoins transacted with cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency payment processors and catch the criminals.