WEX used to launder money from SamSam Ransomware, up to $6 million

05 Mar, 2019
by David Borman
News
WEX used to launder money from SamSam Ransomware, up to $6 million

NewsBTC has reported that the controversial crypto exchange WEX, which was formerly BTC-e, has been used to launder some $6 million worth of Bitcoin acquired by criminals during a series of ransomware attacks last year under the name SamSam. The attacks are believed to have been performed by an Iranian hacker group and two men have been identified by the US Department of Justice.

The men thought to be involved are Haramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, and both apparently have links to WEX. This information comes form a report put out by respected firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

From the report:

"We identified this Iranian money laundering operation as having links with currency exchange WEX (previously known as BTC-e)… WEX is most notably known for its alleged involvement in the threat actor tracked by PwC as Blue Athena, and being responsible for cashing out 95 percent of all ransomware payments made since 2014."

It seems other small exchanges were used to launder crypto as well. The total the group stole from the SamSam attack is somewhere around $30 million, but only $6 million went through WEX.

It is unclear if any money will be returned or these perpetrators brought to justice For now, stick with Chepicap for all updates on the unfolding saga!

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