Several renowned researchers have traced back millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin transferred as payments to Ryuk ransomware controllers and located a good portion passed via the Binance exchange platform.
In line with recent report by Forbes, the anonymous researchers said that they had analyzed a sample of 63 bitcoin transactions linked to the Ryuk malware that were worth around $5,700,000 USD in total.
Of these, “over $1 Mln [in bitcoin] was sent from the hacking team wallets to the Binance exchange platform to cash-out their ransom payments,” they said.
Ryuk, like other ransomware variants, locks up illicit computers using encryption and demands a payment [basically in cryptocurrencies] to release the files.
Ryuk is claimed to have raked in $61 Mln within the two years since it had been set free on the world, Forbes added.
Looking at 13 other bitcoin addresses linked to Ryuk, the researchers also found some around $1,064,865 in bitcoin held there also passed via Binance.
The remainder of the bitcoin traced, some $4.7 Mln worth, was found to be held on non-exchange wallets – a suggestion that the malware’s operators favor Binance, consistent with the report.
Binance has been provided the research findings, Forbes added.
The exchange said within the report it prioritizes ensuring “the safety of our users and therefore the integrity of the broader crypto space,” though spotting such illicit activity is “not always black and white.”
Binance also analyzed the Ryuk bitcoin flows and reportedly found that 400 bitcoin were sent to Huobi, a Singapore-based exchange, and 140 BTC were sent through a now-closed Thailand-based exchange.