The sanctions imposed by the US and the EU against Russia seem to have taken a heavy toll on Russian hackers who are looking for alternative ways to launder money.On April 5 this year, law enforcement agencies in Germany seized the servers of Hydra Market, the largest Russian-language platform on the dark web, with an annual turnover of more than $1.35 billion.
The next day, US authorities imposed sanctions on Garantex, one of the most important platforms used by Russian hackers to launder stolen funds.
Also, as we said, The FBI charged a Russian who ran a criminal marketplace.
And finally, recently Binance became the first major cryptocurrency exchange to block the ability of Russian users to conduct transactions and invest funds. Even large-scale mining operations fell under the sanctions.
Considering all stated before, Russian hackers have to look for new ways to launder money. According to Flashpoint, as an alternative, they began to use Chinese payment systems, including banking and Union Pay. However, Union Pay is already considering the possibility of blocking users from the Russian Federation, so this loophole may close soon.
Let me remind you that we also reported that Backbone provider Cogent disconnects Russian companies.
Blocking money transfers through Western Union and MoneyGram has made life much more difficult for scammers and extortionists who use these services to anonymously receive payments from their victims.
Due to the blocking of SWIFT in Russia and sanctions against Russian banks, cybercriminals began to launder money through banks in Armenia, Vietnam and China, where sanctions were not imposed.
Since money laundering specialists have lost the ability to advertise their services on the Hydra Market, they have to limit themselves to smaller, untrusted transactions.
According to Flashpoint, due to the current situation, some cybercriminals decided to postpone the withdrawal of funds and began to invest in gold and store cryptocurrency in offline wallets.
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