Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | isis | using | bit coin | hide | cash

Hacktivists: ISIS Using Bitcoin to Hide Cash

Image: Hacktivists: ISIS Using Bitcoin to Hide Cash
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By    |   Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 09:53 PM

The Islamic State (ISIS) is using the digital currency Bitcoin to hide its terrorist activities, a group of "hacktivists" says.

Ghost Security Group tells Fox News it has found multiple Bitcoin accounts used by the terrorist group, including one with $3 million worth of Bitcoin.

GhostSec member Michael K. Smith II told Fox that counterterrorism officials worry ISIS is getting gold and other financial instruments such as Bitcoin.

One GhostSec member said the amount of virtual currency owned by ISIS is about 1 percent to 3 percent of its income, which is $4.7 million and $15.6 million.

The U.S. Treasury Department says ISIS rakes in $468 million to $520 million a year from robbery, extortion, oil sales, ransom payments and overseas donations.

Bitcoin, like cash, allows for person-to-person transfers without going through banks or other financial institutions. But, unlike cash, Bitcoin can instantly be transferred anywhere via the Internet. It can be converted into local currency or simply used to buy goods directly.

"Terrorists need anonymity," Cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright told Fox. "Countries have gotten very good at tracking terror financing in the years since 9/11. Networks have looked for new ways to do it, and it appears they’ve found it in Bitcoin."

Though Bitcoin allows for a level of anonymity, its advocates also note that all transactions are recorded on a public ledger. If agencies tracking ISIS can uncover a single spend or transfer of Bitcoin, they can then backtrack where it came from and where it goes next. And since all transactions are on a public ledger, they don't even need a warrant.

"Criminals and terrorists are using all sorts of technology to try to hide their activities over the Internet, but those who turn to Bitcoin as part of that effort are making a big mistake," Jason Weinstein, director of the Blockchain Alliance told Bitcoin Magazine. 

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The Islamic State (ISIS) is using the digital currency bitcoin to hide its terrorist activities, a group of "hacktivists" says.
isis, using, bit coin, hide, cash, hacktivists
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2015-53-25
Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 09:53 PM
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