US govt to build forensic tools to track privacy-centric cryptos like Monero
The U.S govt is getting increasingly skeptical about privacy-centric coins. A pre-solicitation document published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) said that the U.S govt is looking into ways to utilize blockchain forensic analytics to track cryptocurrencies like Monero and ZCash. The SBIR has invited suggestions from small businesses that will support the govt’s initiative.
The document said that blockchain technology increasingly focussed on two factors including privacy and anonymity. “While these features are desirable, there is similarly a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature,” read the document
“This proposal calls for solutions that enable law enforcement investigations to perform forensic analysis on blockchain transactions,” according to the document. The solution or the forensic tools will also try to expand its functionality to “provide working approaches to treating newer blockchain implementations.”
To this measure, the govt plans to roll out a blockchain analysis ecosystem that will facilitate forensic analysis for homeland security and law enforcement applications for cryptocurrencies. They will then proceed to identify risks associated with privacy and security. The solution will solve these risks by developing appropriate strategies. They also plan to integrate the forensic tools into commercial and government applications. This is in an attempt to allow authorities to track cryptocurrency and blockchain transactions.
The pre-solicitation document has invited questions about the proposal from SBIR registered companies. The solicitation period ends in December 2018. The SBIR might request for product proposals from the registered companies after the solicitation period is over.
It comes as no surprise that the document mentioned ZCash and Monero among all the cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies are known to be used by for terrorist operations and also has multiple instances of crypto jacking associated with it. Monero has had an increase in cryptojacking instances. Recently, McAfee Labs found a new Russian Monero cryptojacking malware, Webcobra which was used to mine Monero from the user’s computers. Monero is reported to be a preferred target fro cryptojackers.
Image via Shutterstock