Digital risk protection services company GroupSense and cryptocurrency intelligence firm CipherTrace have teamed up to help businesses identify threat actors and groups and thwart ransomware attacks.
GroupSense’s threat intelligence solutions and The CipherTrace blockchain analytics and transaction risk-scoring platform will be used to share intelligence about digital risk and threat actor wallet information enabling customers to better identify threat actors and groups, state-sponsored groups and ransomware gangs conducting ransomware attacks.
Furthermore, the new offering will also help both companies adhere to compliance standards set by The Office of Foreign Assets Control – the financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the US Treasury Department.
The partnership is indeed timely as according to data from the FBI, ransomware attacks skyrocketed 400% year-over-year in 2020, with ransom payments moving from thousands to millions of dollars and disrupting critical infrastructure. And, as both threat actors and cryptocurrency technologies become more sophisticated, tracking and identifying cybercrimes using these currencies is becoming increasingly complex.
Furthermore, nearly 7,000 people lost more than $80m between October 2020 and March 2021 in scams include fake currency exchanges and phony investment websites selling the digital currency — a 1,000% increase from a year ago, according to the Federal Trade Commission. More recently, more than $10m was stolen in various cryptocurrencies. Indeed, enabling secure access to these cryptocurrency assets is absolutely critical to preventing theft — which, as of the end of 2020, amounted to just over $10m a day.
CipherTrace is well-placed for this collaboration as it aims to tackle this very challenge by protecting financial institutions from crypto-related threats. Founded in 2015 with funding from the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the company counts some of the largest banks, exchanges, and other financial institutions in the world as customers because of its data attribution, analytics, proprietary clustering algorithms and coverage of more than 2,000 cryptocurrency entities. The platform boasts of tracing more than 800 virtual assets and providing visibility into 87%of global trading volume with hundreds of millions of attribution data points.
Commenting on the new tie-up, CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans said, “The common connection between almost all threat actors is the use of cryptocurrencies, and our technology is able to comprehensively trace those transactions. Our partnership with GroupSense is bi-directional, as we’re able to offer our customers access to either our cryptocurrency-specific intelligence or GroupSense’s customized, operationally ready threat intelligence – both of which give customers deeper insight to detect and mitigate the cyberthreats that could most affect them.”
On the other hand, GroupSense provides risk intelligence – gathered from the deep and dark webs, social media and the cloud that maps specifically to each customer’s digital business footprint and risk profile. The company does this via its TraceLight technology which requires no additional processing and customization by client security teams.
GroupSense CEO Kurtis Minder added, “Our partnership with CipherTrace will provide our analyst team with enriched intelligence about threat actors and groups, and particularly ransomware gangs, by allowing us to catalog and monitor the activity of sanctioned wallets, and draw connections between which wallets are associated with certain marketplaces. While our main focus is on gathering further intelligence through tracing cryptocurrency transactions specific to ransomware attacks, we also will be able to leverage the CipherTrace platform to help provide greater insight into a number of other cybercrimes, including insider trading.”
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