A British court has ordered crypto exchange Bitfinex to freeze $860,000 in bitcoin tied to a ransomware payout.
According to a report by New Money Review and a filing published last week by the England and Wales High Court, a British court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze the address of an account tied to a ransomware payout and share the know-your-customer information with authorities.
The report claims that an unnamed firm paid $950,000 in bitcoin as ransom to the perpetrator account through an insurance company intermediate in response to the victim’s computers being hijacked by malware. While some of the ransom was converted to fiat, 96 BTC was transferred to an address on Bitfinex.
Blockchain security firm Chainalysis released a statement confirming that they had participated in tracking the funds on behalf of the victim’s insurer. Chainalysis Director of Communications Maddie Kennedy said,
A leading cyber insurer used Chainalysis software to investigate ransomware payments made on behalf of their clients and trace the flow of funds from the point of extortion to known services such as exchanges.
While Bitfinex issued a statement claiming to have “robust systems” in place to assist law enforcement, the exchange declined to confirm whether it would share client information with authorities.
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