Vastaamo Hack Involved Monero Transactions
29 Jan, 2024 ● Coin news
Finland's National Bureau of Investigation reportedly traced Monero transactions linked to the criminal trial of Julius Aleksanteri Kivimäki.
He is accused of hacking a private mental health company's database and demanding cryptocurrency ransoms.
Local news outlets reported that on Jan. 22, prosecutors presented new evidence linking cryptocurrency transactions to Kivimäki's bank account.
In October 2022, he allegedly demanded 40 Bitcoins to prevent the release of data from over 33,000 patients of Vastaamo, a psychotherapy service provider.
Kivimäki is said to have targeted individual patients after the ransom was not met.
Finnish police claim he received Bitcoin payments, sent them to a non-KYC compliant exchange, exchanged them for Monero, and then moved the funds to a specific Monero wallet.
The funds were reportedly later transferred to Binance, converted back to Bitcoin, and distributed across various wallets. The authorities have kept details of their blockchain analysis confidential.
Monero is known for its strong privacy features, as stated on its official website. Its technologies, including Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT), ring signatures, and stealth addresses, help obscure transaction details and sender identities.
In March 2019, Eric Woerth, head of the Finance Committee in the French National Assembly, suggested banning anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero. In 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service offered a bounty for cracking privacy coins like Monero.
Research indicates that blockchain analysis can sometimes trace transactions involving privacy coins, even activities predating 2017.