Blockchain analyst Chainalysis has acquired cybercrime investigation firm Excygent for an undisclosed amount, indicating that they will continue to work together to “eliminate ransomware.”
Chainalysis CEO Michael Gronager said Tuesday that the company has partnered with Excygent to acquire cryptocurrency linked to the now darkened Silk Road market, shut down a major child abuse site, disrupt terrorist financing campaigns and other projects. Groniger said Excygent employees will join the company’s team to conduct investigations and special programs to support investigations into cryptocurrency used in cybercrime.
“Tracking the flow of ransomware payments on the blockchain is critical for police to understand and stop ransomware operations,” Groniger told Cointelegraph. “As paradoxical as it may sound, it can be useful to investigators when attackers decide to use cryptocurrency to commit crimes.”
The CEO cited Chainalysis’s contribution to a cybercrime investigation involving NetWalker, the ransomware operator that allegedly targeted hospitals during the pandemic and collected more than $25 million in ransom payments in 2020. In addition, the company studied the Russian company Suex OTC. The US Treasury was recently targeted for allegedly giving hackers access to cryptocurrencies sent as payment for ransomware attacks. Chainalysis claimed that “tens of millions” of Suex cryptocurrency came from addresses linked to various cybercrimes.
“Cryptocurrency is transparent, and with the right tools and the right talent, we can weed out bad players and build a safer economic system,” Groniger said.
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Chainalysis has grown significantly over the past year, receiving support from both the US government and the private sector. In June, the company reached a valuation of $4.2 billion after a $100 million funding round led by global investment manager Koatu.