Bitcoin Bumble: Leaked FBI Doc Could Help Hackers Protect Their Virtual Loot

Shoshanna Utchenik

An internal FBI report that was leaked and made its way onto the Internet this week may unfortunately help some folks with illegal activity.

The website WIRED reports that that an FBI report called “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity,” raises concerns about the anonymous Bitcoin payment network as an alarming haven for money laundering and other criminal activity — including as a tool for hackers to rip off fellow Bitcoin users.

The leaked report unfortunately provides advice for Bitcoin users looking to further protect anonymity. Oops.

That advice: let the FBI help you out:

  • Create and use a new Bitcoin address for each incoming payment.
  • Route all Bitcoin traffic through an anonymizer.
  • Combine the balance of old Bitcoin addresses into a new address to make new payments.
  • Use a specialized money-laundering service.
  • Use a third-party eWallet service to consolidate addresses. Some third-party services offer the option of creating an eWallet that allows users to consolidate many bitcoin address and store and easily access their bitcoins from any device.
  • Individuals can create Bitcoin clients to seamlessly increase anonymity (such as allowing users to choose which Bitcoin addresses to make payments from), making it easier for non-technically savvy users to anonymize their Bitcoin transactions.

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