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U.S. Court Alleges Russia Used Bitcoin to Fund Illegal Activities

A U.S. Justice Department indictment against seven Russian officers on Oct. 5, 2018, revealed the country allegedly used Bitcoin to fund illegal interests in the States, reported MarketWatch.

As per the indictment, several shell companies and individuals in the U.S. were hacked by from December 2014 to May 2018 for promoting Russian “strategic interests,” particularly that of delegitimizing the efforts of international anti-doping organizations.

The court reveals the hackers attempt to infiltrate the server data of an unnamed independent agency that was investigating the poisoning of a former Russian Federation officer, in addition to hacking the website of Pittsburgh-based nuclear power and technology firm Westinghouse Electric Co. The latter supplies Ukraine–Russia’s regional adversary–with nuclear fuel each year.

To protect the identity of attackers and to streamline the financing, Russia allegedly used Bitcoin to circumvent traditional remittance systems, with the court adding it was “principally used” to evade regulatory scrutiny of the suspects.

For the same reasons as mentioned above, Russia also used some Bitcoin in the infamous hacking campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

As reported by CryptoSlate, hackers exclusively used bitcoin to fund their extensive computing operation through “a web of transactions” in order to purchase computer servers, register domains, and make other payments for their hacking activities. The court observed the hackers used Bitcoin to purchase the “dcleaks.com” domain, where many of the stolen emails were disseminated.

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