Analyzing hack subnetworks in the bitcoin transaction graph

Daniel Goldsmith, Kim Grauer, Yonah Shmalo
2020 Applied Network Science  
Hacks are one of the most damaging types of cryptocurrency related crime, accounting for billions of dollars in stolen funds since 2009. Professional investigators at Chainalysis have traced these stolen funds from the initial breach on an exchange to off-ramps, i.e. services where criminals are able to convert the stolen funds into fiat or other cryptocurrencies. We analyzed six hack subnetworks of bitcoin transactions known to belong to two prominent hacking groups. We analyze each hack
more » ... ing to eight network features, both static and temporal, and successfully classify each hack to its respective hacking group through our newly proposed method. We find that the static features, such as node balance, in degree, and out degree are not as useful in classifying the hacks into hacking groups as temporal features related to how quickly the criminals cash out. We validate our operating hypothesis that the key distinction between the two hacking groups is the acceleration with which the funds exit through terminal nodes in the subnetworks.
doi:10.1007/s41109-020-00261-7 fatcat:43wazty7f5hdvpu3gxcafm3wae