Criminals Beware as Man Tracks Criminals Using Blockchain
Blockchain technology has proven without reasonable doubts that its usage exceeds cryptocurrency. Ben Strickland, an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigator who uses OSINT techniques to track crypto transactions linked to terrorist organisations proves this to be true. Earlier in June, Strickland published a Medium post titled “Tracing a Jihadist cell, kidnappers and a scammer using the blockchain — an open source investigation.” Strickland had utilised open-source data techniques to draw a connection between the jihadists and other online organised crimes.
While criminals might feel that they can now have a field day with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Strickland proves that their activities can be checked. Strickland explained that during his search, he found out a crypto address used by some jihadists to solicit for funds from social media. The address was also linked to a South African kidnaper. Strickland explained that open source can refer to any data on social media, YouTube, blockchain data and the likes. These open source data can be used to track criminal activities.
The OSINT investigator explained that the motive for going into criminal investigation using blockchain was the increase in crypto crime. He added, “It is important to realize that this is what the power of the blockchain is supposed to be. As much as it is a free market, unregulated and decentralised, the power of the blockchain should be that someone like me, from the comfort of my home on my laptop, with no formal training, can identify any wrongdoing on the blockchain.”
Strickland also explained that his method makes it easy to trace fraudulent activities on the blockchain. He had earlier reported a dark web page called Sadaqcoins created as a crowdfunding platform for the purchase of weapons and funding of the jihadist militia. He also was able to discover many online scam activities. One, in particular, was found out by his Facebook post and pictures where he claimed ‘how I can make you the next bitcoin millionaire.’