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Ransomware crims drop Bitcoin faster than Google axes services


RSA 2015 The falling price of Bitcoin is forcing ransomware masterminds to convert the crypto-currency as soon as they can. Rather than holding on to their ill-gotten BTC, the crims are simply laundering the ransom money as soon as possible.

"I've seen this discussion in underground forums among Russian criminals," Etay Maor, senior fraud prevention strategist at IBM Security, told The Register today in San Francisco.

"They use Bitcoin for the money laundering part and take payment with it, but they'll move it out almost immediately. Most of them won’t keep bitcoins – they don't like the valuations Bitcoin has – so they just use it as a layer of obfuscation, and move it to a different form of money."

Today, one Bitcoin is worth US$238 (158, AU$306, CAN$289, 216), rather less than the highs of US$1,147 in December 2013.

Up, up, and down, down, down ... Bitcoin prices from mid-2013 to now (Source: Coindesk BPI)

Bitcoin has played a huge part in the ransomware market, where...(continued)

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