Security Researcher Resisted Urge to Cash Out Cybercriminals $17m Bitcoin Wallet
In describing the intelligence value to be derived in analyzing cryptocurrency transactions, security professional John Bambenek shared with the AUSCERT security conference his experience finding a cybercriminal’s private wallet key accidentally uploaded to VirusTotal.
“On a whim, Bambenek searched Virus Total’s online repository of malware and other files for those containing bitcoin wallet addresses. He found a private key for a bitcoin wallet that had been mistakenly uploaded. The wallet was worth US$17 million at the time.
‘I could have transacted that,’ Bambenek says. ‘I could have left this whole cybersecurity industry behind and just retired some place at a nice resort in the South China Sea.'”