The U.S. Department of the Treasury has taken actions concentrating on cryptocurrency exchanges “chargeable for laundering ransoms” as a part of the whole-of-government effort to counter ransomware. One cryptocurrency trade has already been sanctioned together with associated crypto addresses. “We will proceed to crack down on malicious actors,” stated Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
US Government Targets Crypto Exchanges in Ransomware Fight
The U.S. Treasury Department introduced a set of actions to counter ransomware Tuesday, which embrace the publication of an updated advisory on ransomware and the addition of entities to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)’s checklist of Specially Designated Nationals.
The Department of the Treasury declared:
As a part of the whole-of-government effort to counter ransomware, the U.S. Department of the Treasury at present introduced a set of actions targeted on disrupting felony networks and digital foreign money exchanges chargeable for laundering ransoms.
The actions additionally intention to enhance cyber safety throughout the personal sector and improve ransomware cost reporting to U.S. authorities businesses, together with each Treasury and legislation enforcement. The announcement additional notes that ransomware funds surpassed $400 million in 2020, greater than 4 instances their degree in 2019.
“Some digital foreign money exchanges are a crucial factor of this ecosystem, as digital foreign money is the principal technique of facilitating ransomware funds and related cash laundering actions,” the Treasury acknowledged, elaborating:
While most digital foreign money exercise is licit, digital currencies can be utilized for illicit exercise by means of peer-to-peer exchangers, mixers, and exchanges. This contains the facilitation of sanctions evasion, ransomware schemes, and different cybercrimes.
Among the actions taken was the sanctioning of cryptocurrency trade Suex for facilitating “monetary transactions for ransomware actors.” According to the Treasury, this was the primary crypto trade focused “for laundering cyber ransoms.” All property and pursuits in property of the trade “which are topic to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. individuals are typically prohibited from partaking in transactions with them,” the announcement particulars.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented: “Ransomware and cyber-attacks are victimizing companies massive and small throughout America and are a direct risk to our financial system. We will proceed to crack down on malicious actors.” She added:
As cyber criminals use more and more subtle strategies and expertise, we’re dedicated to utilizing the complete vary of measures, to incorporate sanctions and regulatory instruments, to disrupt, deter, and forestall ransomware assaults.
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