In recent times, hacking has become increasingly common in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. There is a new hacking incident every other day but what a mysterious hacker recently did, is something very unheard of.
According to Chainalysis, an on-chain analytics firm, a mysterious hacker gained access and stole $300,000 worth of Bitcoin belonging to various Russian government agencies.
Interestingly, the individual did not just stop there and instead of using the stolen crypto money, the hacker donated it to the war-hit nation of Ukraine. The report says that the hacker has transferred the stolen Bitcoins to the addresses of Ukrainian volunteers.
The crypto experts say that the mystery hacker seems to have used blockchain and Bitcoin technologies to work against Russia. Using their skills, the hacker gained access to hundreds of crypto wallets, which likely belonged to Russian law enforcement agencies.
As per Ukrainian media reports, Chainalysis analysts believe that the hacker used a feature of documenting transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain to identify 986 wallets controlled by the Russian authorities. In particular, the wallets belonged to the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Reportedly, the hacker left messages in Russian to the owners of these wallets stating that these wallets were used to pay for the services of hackers working for Russia. Western analysts reportedly consider it indisputable that Russian intelligence services use hackers to conduct numerous operations.
They note that at least three of the allegedly Russian wallets have already been linked to Russia by third parties. However, it is not known to what extent these allegations are true.
Further, Chainalysis claimed that the hacker seems to have gained control of the wallets, which he claims were controlled by Russian intelligence services, not through hacking, but through “inside work”.
In simple language, there have been claims that this person could have infiltrated the structure of hackers working for Russia, or he could have been an employee of the Russian special services who later became a defector.
Reportedly, the first hacks were carried out a few weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. The hacker was initially determined to simply destroy the stolen funds in the wallets of the Russian special services but when Russia’s war with Ukraine began, the hacker changed tactics.
According to Chainalysis, some of the wallets involved in this investigation transferred funds to Ukrainian government wallets after the war began. The mysterious hacker stopped burning money and started sending it to help Ukraine. The analysts concluded:
The fact that the OP_RETURN sender was both willing and able to burn hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bitcoin to spread their message makes it more likely in our opinion that their information is accurate.
The OP_RETURN field is commonly used to indicate that a Bitcoin transaction is invalid, but it also allows users to attach messages to transactions and broadcast them to the whole blockchain.
Since the initial days of the war, the Ukrainian government has significantly relied on cryptocurrency donations to sustain the war. Cryptocurrencies have raised millions of dollars for military and charitable purposes as reported by Todayq News.