Behind the crypto broker accused of enabling ransomware hackers


A physical imitation of a Bitcoin at a cryptocurrency 'Bitcoin Change' shop in Istanbul. The United States imposed sanctions on cryptocurrency exchange Suex for its ties to ransomware attackers, as Washington seeks to crack down on digital crime. — AFP

A cryptocurrency broker that the Biden administration considers a key cog in the recent ransomware epidemic is legally registered in the Czech Republic but doesn’t appear to have an office there. It may be operating out of Moscow’s tallest skyscraper despite its not being listed at the address.

It earned the distinction last month of being the first crypto exchange to be blacklisted by the US as governments try to stem further attacks. And while it denies any part in the recent spate of cyber crimes, experts say it’s a prime example of a shadowy corner of the industry that has allowed hackers to thrive by giving them the means to launder millions of dollars in illicit digital proceeds through “nested” middlemen that tap larger exchanges to process transactions.

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