Why Blockchain Is a Double-Edged Sword for CriminalsChainalysis' Jackie Burns Koven Shares Netwalker Ransomware Disruption Highlights
The disruption of the Netwalker ransomware group in January 2021 by U.S. and Bulgarian authorities resulted in the seizure of $30 million, the largest-ever recovery of ransomware funds, but it was also notable for the way cybersecurity teams took down the group.
The Netwalker operation demonstrated how blockchain can be an Achilles' heel for cryptocurrency-using criminals since it enables at least some of their activities to be tracked, says Jackie Burns Koven, cyberthreat intelligence lead at blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
In a video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2022, where she served as a session panelist for "BTC as an IOC: Inside the Largest Ever Ransomware Funds Seizure," Koven discusses:
- Highlights from the January 2021 Netwalker disruption, including the arrest of a key affiliate;
- Why blockchain can be a double-edged sword for criminals;
- How the ransomware, ransomware-as-a-service and affiliate-based ecosystem is expected to evolve.
At Chainalysis, Koven has been tracking ransomware operators and their enablers on blockchain for three years. Prior to joining Chainalysis, she served in the U.S. intelligence community.