Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Authorities Take Down Cryptocurrency Mixing Service Bestmixer.io

Authorities in Europe this week said they took down Bestmixer.io, one of the leading cryptocurrency mixing service in the world. 

The takedown was possible due to a collaboration between the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Europol, and authorities in Luxembourg. 

Authorities in Europe this week said they took down Bestmixer.io, one of the leading cryptocurrency mixing service in the world. 

The takedown was possible due to a collaboration between the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Europol, and authorities in Luxembourg. 

The investigation into the service was launched in June 2018 by the FIOD, with the support from security company McAfee. As part of the investigation, six servers in the Netherlands and Luxembourg were seized, the authorities said. 

One of the three largest mixing services for crypto-currencies, Bestmixer.io offered services for mixing Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash and Litecoin. 

Launched in May 2018, the service achieved a turnover of at least $200 million (around 27,000 Bitcoin) in a year’s time. It also guaranteed that the customers would remain anonymous.

The crypto-currency mixing service (or crypto-currency tumbler) was designed to mix potentially identifiable or ‘tainted’ virtual currency funds with others, in an attempt to obscure the trail back to the fund’s original source.

The mixing service, McAfee explains, cuts up a sum of Bitcoins into hundreds of smaller transactions, then mixes different transactions from other sources for obfuscation, after which it sends the amount, minus a fee, to a certain output address. 

“Mixing Bitcoins that are obtained legally is not a crime but, other than the mathematical exercise, there no real benefit to it. The legality changes when a mixing service advertises itself as a success method to avoid various anti-money laundering policies via anonymity,” the security firm notes. 

The investigation has revealed that Bestmixer.io was used to mix many crypto-currencies that had a criminal origin or destination. The mixer is believed to have been used to conceal and launder criminal flows of money.

Bestmixer.io provided clear information on why crypto-currency should be mixed, describing anti-money laundering policies and how the service could help evade them by making funds anonymous and untraceable. 

Bestmixer’s website was hosted in the Netherlands, McAfee says. The Financial Advanced Cyber Team (FACT) of the Dutch FIOD was informed on the site’s location, which resulted in the takedown of the infrastructure following a yearlong international investigation. 

Over the past year, the Dutch FIOD has gathered information on all the interactions on the platform, including IP addresses, transaction details, Bitcoin addresses and chat messages. 

The FIOD and Europol will analyze the gathered data and will share the intelligence packages with other countries.

Related: CipherTrace Unveils Crypto-Currency Anti-Money Laundering Solution

Related: Cryptocurrencies and the Revolution in Cybercrime Economics

Related: Cryptocurrency Fraud: In the Midst of a Gold Rush, Beware of Scammers

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Cybercrime

Video games developer Riot Games says source code was stolen from its development environment in a ransomware attack

Cybercrime

Artificial intelligence is competing in another endeavor once limited to humans — creating propaganda and disinformation.

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

Chinese threat actor DragonSpark has been using the SparkRAT open source backdoor in attacks targeting East Asian organizations.