Monero Tracing: Privacy Coin Proponents Dismiss Finnish Law Enforcement Agency’s Tracing Breakthrough Claims

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A Finnish law enforcement agency, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), recently claimed that it may have found a way to trace the privacy coin Monero. However, proponents of the privacy coin have dismissed the agency’s claims and insisted that the cryptocurrency is still untraceable.

Identification of Hacker Behind Vastaamo Data Breach Revealed

The Finnish law enforcement agency, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), recently claimed that it has found a way of identifying individuals who use the privacy coin Monero (XMR) to launder money. To back this claim, the agency produced a report explaining why it concluded that Julius Aleksanteri Kivimäki was the criminal behind the Vastaamo breach.

Finnish authorities have long believed Kivimäki to be the cybercriminal behind the hacking of the private psychotherapy service provider Vastaamo’s patient database in October 2020. After gaining access to patients’ records, Kivimäki demanded 40 bitcoins (BTC) in exchange for not publishing these records. He similarly threatened Vastaamo’s 30,000 patients.

However, almost two years later, Kivimäki was identified as a hacker by the NBI and was charged in absentia for crimes ranging from aggravated data breach and attempted extortion to breach of confidentiality and falsification of evidence. An Interpol arrest warrant was subsequently issued, and this ultimately led to Kivimäki’s arrest in early February 2023. He was later extradited to Finland.

As noted in a local report, the NBI has not produced verifiable proof to support Monero tracing breakthrough claims. The investigative report, which reveals how this feat was achieved, is heavily redacted. The head of the investigation, Marko Leposen, defended NBI’s decision not to divulge details of how it traced XMR transactions.

Despite providing scant details on how the NBI managed to identify Kivimäki, the agency’s document reportedly showed how the hacker attempted to obscure the movement of the funds by switching from BTC to XMR and hopping between crypto exchanges. It also revealed how Kivimäki used mules to move the funds.

NBI’s Monero Tracing Claims Dismissed

Meanwhile, some proponents of the privacy coin have dismissed the Finnish law enforcement agency’s assertions. According to them, no tracing of Monero transactions happened in this case.

For instance, on Reddit, one user suggested that the NBI’s only success was tracking “a certain person who used centralized exchanges and swapped monero for traceable cryptos. They noticed that the amounts were similar and deduced that it was the same monero.” As far as tracking XMR is concerned, the user insisted that this is still not possible.

Another user similarly suggested that the agency’s only breakthrough, in this case, was realizing that a “similar quantity was exchanged from bitcoin to monero, then was deposited into Binance.

Do you believe the Finnish law enforcement agency Monero tracing claims? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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