Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

US Authorities Seize Bitcoin Operator Accounts

WASHINGTON – US authorities seized the accounts of a Bitcoin digital currency exchange operator, claiming it was functioning as an “unlicensed money service business,” court documents showed Friday.

WASHINGTON – US authorities seized the accounts of a Bitcoin digital currency exchange operator, claiming it was functioning as an “unlicensed money service business,” court documents showed Friday.

A warrant revealed by the Department of Homeland Security showed a judge signed the seizure order Tuesday for the accounts of Mutum Sigillum LCC, a subsidiary of Japan-based Mt. Gox, the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange.

The warrant said the account based on the electronic payments platform Dwolla and held at Veridian Credit Union “was used to move money” as “part of an unlicensed money service” in violation of US law.

The US law enforcement action creates doubts about the future of Bitcoin, a mysterious digital currency which saw a flurry of interest this year which some called a bubble.

Bitcoins were launched in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis by an anonymous programmer who wanted to create a currency independent of any central bank or financial institution.

A form of “e-money,” Bitcoin is made of strings of dazzlingly complex code, written in such a way that it becomes increasingly difficult to generate new Bitcoins, with the number in circulation designed to eventually top out at 21 million.

Originally worth less than a cent, the value peaked during the Cyprus financial crisis at $266. On Friday the price listed on the Blockchain website was $118.

A Homeland Security official said that the agency could not comment on the matter “in order not to compromise this ongoing investigation.”

Some officials fear the virtual currency can be used by criminals or terrorists, or could be vulnerable to hackers.

Related: Will Bitcoin 2.0 be Facebook?

Related: Bitcoin Botnet Ranked as Top Threat for Q1 2013

Written By

AFP 2023

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

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

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...

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Cybercrime

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

Cybercrime

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