Bellingcat Manages To Track Bitcoin Transactions Of GRU Officers
The Bellingcat research group managed to record a bitcoin transaction made on February 1, 2016, which was associated with the intervention of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia (GRU) in the US presidential election. This information is published on the website of the company.
The case of Russia's interference in the US presidential election is being investigated by the special counsel Robert Mueller. The suspicions fall on the Russian intelligence service, charges against which were filed in October 2018. The US side believes that the GRU officials could have hacked the servers of the National Committee of the Democratic Party.
The Bellingcat specialists are conducting their own investigation and collecting data. Thanks to the traditional bitcoin block explorer from Blockchain, they managed to find the transaction, which appears in the accusations against the Russian spies.
The experts found block 396049, dated February 1, 2016, with a transfer of 0.026043 BTC. Then they started searching for similar transactions using Ctrl-F. They were found in two more blocks, but the amount of sent funds was different. Besides, sender addresses were identified.
Then, the group began to look for similar transactions for January 31 and February 2 but could not find any on those dates. As a result, the experts concluded that the spies had the address 1LQv8aKtQoiY5M5zkaG8RWL7LMwNzVaVqR.
The Bellingcat analysts claim that many use cryptocurrencies for legitimate purposes, but sometimes they become tools in the hands of terrorists, fraudsters, and other criminals. Fortunately, despite the anonymity of Bitcoin, the specialists believe that on-chain transactions can be traced if needed.