Cryptocurrencies are digital payment system that uses encryption and advanced cryptography to regulate the creation, transfer, and storage of money. But criminals are using the anonymity that cryptocurrencies offer to make money in ways they could not before. They are using them to buy and sell child sex-abuse images. Crypto exchanges are a trading market for cryptocurrencies where users can buy, sell, and trade these currencies using a peer-to-peer platform.
These types of exchanges give pseudo-anonymity to users, which has enabled criminals to use their platforms as distribution points for illegal content, such as child sex abuse images online. "Criminals used crypto exchanges to profit from child sex abuse images."
This article will examine how crypto exchanges have been utilized by dark web actors to make money in ways traditional fiat currency cannot—specifically, by trading illicit materials such as child sexual abuse imagery. They’re not only the currency of the future; they’re also a target for cyber bullies.
According to Jeffrey Carr, founder of Taia Global and author of "Inside Cybercrime: Smashing the Money Changer World,"
Carr says cybercriminals increasingly use exchangers like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Peercoin, and Ripple to sell images of child sexual abuse online.
"They’re taking advantage of the fact that criminals are sophisticated enough to communicate with each other using digital currency and are able to buy and sell these images quickly and anonymously." And it's not just from sexual abuse material; it's also from people who traded in terrorism materials too.
A new study has found that thieves have been using cryptocurrency exchangers to sell illegal images and content of child sex abuse. The perpetrators then use these funds to buy more cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin, which can be exchanged for cash or other goods on an exchange like Coinbase.
The new research by the Norwegian Internet Criminal Authority, a branch of the police, says that the practice is not only unlicensed and illegal, but it also exposes children to more possible abuse.
The report, released last week, cites just two arrests in 2017 where offenders used exchanges to obtain cryptocurrencies like Monero and Bitcoin. The offenders were charged with laundering money with criminal intent. One was sentenced to six months in prison; the other was sentenced to 6-7 months probation.
According to the report, "Cryptocurrency exchangers are used as a tool for money laundering and cybercrime."
The operation of the "Dark Scandals Market”
1. The buyer creates a bitcoin exchange account. Some significant exchanges used to not require identification documentation.
2. The buyer pays for the bitcoin or ether digital tokens on the exchange using dollars, euros, etc.
3. Michael Mohammad's Dark Scandals website directs visitors to send tokens to a Dark Scandals virtual wallet in order to buy content. The purchaser emails Dark Scandals' encrypted email address with verification of payment.
4. The purchaser gets an email with a URL that enables them to download "packs" of content that Mohammad has selected.
5. Mohammad sells the cryptocurrency he acquired from the customer on another cryptocurrency exchange to cash it out.
In conclusion, it is vital to say that, Cryptocurrencies are digital payment system that uses encryption and advanced cryptography to regulate the creation, transfer, and storage of money. But criminals are using the anonymity they offer to make money in ways they could not before. They are using them to buy and sell child sex-abuse images. Cryptocurrency exchanges are used as a tool for money laundering and cybercrime. The Dark Scandals website directs visitors to send tokens to a virtual wallet in order to buy content. The buyer pays for the bitcoin or ether digital tokens on the exchange using dollars, euros, etc.
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