Hilariously, Russian Spies Were Tracked Down — By Bob Mueller — In Part Via Their “Bitcoin Wallet” Leaks…

[This one is also of interest, at another of our properties. G’night!]

This is absurd. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin cluelessly tells a questioner at an Economics Club dinner back in January of 2018 that he isn’t concerned, because “bitcoin exchanges have know your customer rules.”

That is flatly untrue, on the decentralized Bitcoin exchanges, or the DEXes, for short. Mnuchin is willfully blind here. Gee… given that the Russians were then being indicted, I wonder… why?

In any event, here is the main bit of the story: Bobby Three Sticks was able to track at least some of the GRU (Putin-approved) hackers… in part, via the emails they left, and their identifying characters, in the blockchain, as they themselves exchanged payments for illicit services. Precious.

. . . .Within the [Mueller report], a small section details bitcoin’s role in bankrolling the Russian government’s cyberwarfare endeavors.

“. . .cyber intrusions (hacking) and releases of hacked materials [were] damaging to the Clinton Campaign,” the report reads on its fourth page. “The Russian intelligence service known as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU) carried out these operations.”

Two military units of the GRU, the report continues some 30 pages later, hacked into computer hardware belonging to Clinton’s campaign, the Democartic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), leading to email leaks that revealed the DNC gave Clinton preferential treatment during the 2016 Democratic primaries.

A sub-unit of one of these two subdivisions ran “a bitcoin mining operation to secure bitcoins used to purchase computer infrastructure used in hacking operations,” the report states. Others ran “spearphishing campaigns” or developed specified malware to gain access to DNC hardware and data. . . .

When asked at the Economic Club of Washington in January 2018 whether or not such activity is a cause for concern, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin affirmed, “I don’t think that’s a concern,” adding that cryptocurrency exchanges are held to the same KYC regulations as banks. . . .

That is — most-charitably construed — an idiotic, off the cuff opinion. And it is more than equally likely — Mnuchin holds it, with a darker purpose, beneath.

नमस्ते

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