Los Angeles Times: It almost makes you WannaCry: The search for the hackers who infected computers around the world

17 May 2017

Becky Pinkard, vice president of service delivery and intelligence at the British cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows, said a slip-up might occur when crooks try to access the ransom money. They will either have to transfer it to other accounts, try to exchange or sell it for real-world currency, or use it to buy something from a vendor that accepts bitcoins.

In any of the cases, the thieves will start to leave digital footprints, or create interactions with other humans that could reveal more personal information.

“To get that money out, they're going to have to engage middlemen,” Pinkard said. “Essentially, they are going to have to find a way to launder this money and it will have to pass through several different hands before they are going to be able to use it.”