The U.S. Treasury Department has taken action targeting cryptocurrency exchanges as “responsible for laundering ransom” as part of the government’s full efforts to combat ransomware. A cryptocurrency exchange has already been authorized with the corresponding crypto address. “We will continue to crack down on corrupt actors,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The U.S. government has targeted crypto exchanges in the fight against ransomware
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday a move to tackle ransomware, including the release of an updated advisory on ransomware and the agency’s addition to the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) list of specially designated citizens.
The Treasury Department has announced:
As part of the government’s full efforts to tackle ransomware, the U.S. Treasury Department today announced a move focusing on criminal networks responsible for laundering ransom and disrupting virtual currency exchanges.
The activities also aim to improve cyber security across the private sector and increase ransomware payment reporting to U.S. government agencies, including both the Treasury and law enforcement. The declaration further states that the Ransomware payments exceeded 400 400 million in 2020, more than quadrupling their levels in 2019.
“Some virtual currency exchanges are an important component of this ecosystem, as virtual currency is the main means of facilitating ransomware payments and related money laundering activities,” the Treasury said in detail:
Although most virtual currency activity lysites, virtual currencies can be used for illegal activity through peer-to-peer exchangers, mixers, and exchanges. These include ban evasion, ransomware schemes and other cyber crimes.
Among the steps taken was the approval of cryptocurrency exchange sueks to facilitate “financial transactions of ransomware actors”. According to the Treasury, this was the first crypto exchange “for laundering cyber ransom”. All assets and interests in the Exchange’s assets are “blocked under U.S. jurisdiction, and U.S. individuals are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,” the statement said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented: “Ransomware and cyber attacks are affecting large and small businesses across the United States and are a direct threat to our economy. We will continue to crack down on corrupt actors.”
As cybercriminals increasingly use sophisticated methods and technologies, we are committed to incorporating prohibition and regulatory tools, using full-scale measures to prevent, deter and deter ransomware attacks.
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