In our regular series of ISC2 podcasts, we meet journalist and author Andy Greenberg. We discuss his new book Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency and discuss why cybercriminals continue to rely on these digital currencies long after their promises of anonymity and freedom from responsibility were proven to be false.

The ISC2 Podcast is a regular series of interviews and discussions with members and key people in and around the cybersecurity industry where we find out more about their career stories, experiences, emerging cybersecurity challenges and technologies and more. The podcast is a forum to share new ideas and broaden the conversation within the ISC2 membership and with the wider cybersecurity community.


In episode two of this series, we sat down with author and WIRED journalist Andy Greenberg to talk about the shadowy world of the dark web, cryptocurrencies and the symbiotic relationship between the criminal underworld and digital money. From the early days of currencies such as bitcoin that were quickly adopted as a means to pay for small drug deals right up to their use on sprawling hidden marketplaces where almost anything illegal could be bought or sold.

Recorded at ISC2 Security Congress in Nashville, Greenberg's most recent book Tracers in the Dark was the basis for a deep dive into the dark web, the rise and fall of trading empires such as Silk Road and AlphaBay and how the cryptocurrencies these sites and their users relied on for anonymous, untraceable trading are in fact nothing of the sort. The use of cryptocurrencies today as a payment method of choice for ransomware demands, along with frauds such as those involving the MtGOX and BTCe exchanges, also illustrate the extent of the criminal enterprise surrounding these currencies.

Learn more as Greenberg discusses how the detailed and distributed blockchain records that are created every time a cryptocurrency is used creates a very traceable line of breadcrumbs that can link an illegal or concerning dark web purchase not only back to the buyer, but to the seller and platform operator too.