A group of international law enforcement agencies on Wednesday announced that it had taken down a popular dark web crypto laundering service known as ChipMixer.
The officers seized more than $46 million in crypto and terabytes of server data.
The dark web service was used last year to steal funds from the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
“The platform and the criminal content have been seized,” ChipMixer’s website now reads after a successful takeover by the enforcement officers.
“The ChipMixer software blocked the blockchain trail of the funds, making it attractive for cybercriminals looking to launder illegal proceeds from criminal activities such as drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks, and payment card fraud,” Europol wrote in a press release.
“Deposited funds would be turned into ‘chips’ (small tokens with equivalent value), which were then mixed together – thereby anonymizing all trails to where the initial funds originated.”
ChipMixer was launched in mid-2017 and, according to Europol, it was allegedly used to launder 152,000 Bitcoins, worth around $25 million.
The service was popular with black hat hackers.
It was used by ransomware groups like LockBit, Mamba, and SunCrypt.
The operation was coordinated by Europol alongside Belgium’s Federal Police; Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, and General Prosecutors Office Frankfurt-Main; Poland’s Central Cybercrime Bureau; Switzerland’s Cantonal Police of Zurich; and in the U.S. the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ICE Homeland Security Investigations.