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U.S. Treasury to introduce sanctions to curb ransomware attacks: WSJ

PUBLISHED ON 2021-09-17 23:33:00 EST Yashasvini

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In the recent past, the surging number of ransomware attacks at dozens of government agencies, Florida’s water supply, the Colonial Pipeline, JBS Meat Suppliers, and software services provider Kaseya, crippled the functioning of all these organizations bringing the sectors in which they operated to a standstill.

To counter the recent surge in attacks, the U.S. Treasury Department has introduced a slew of measures including the imposition of sanctions. The department will issue fresh guidance to businesses on the risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments, including fines and other penalties.

Wall Street Journal reported that the sanctions could be imposed as early as next week.

The report also stated that later this year, new anti-money laundering and terror-finance rules would limit the use of cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism in ransomware attacks and other illicit activities.

The Treasury Department has introduced new reporting requirements for international cryptocurrency transactions and those conducted outside of central exchanges. The rules are aimed at enhancing transparency, which some security officials argue will deter transactions by individuals who want their illicit activities to stay hidden.

Sanctioning a cryptocurrency exchange that handled ransomware payments would disrupt its ability to do business and deter other cryptocurrency platforms to avoid such transactions.

WSJ analysts speculate that the sanctions will single out specific targets where ransomware transactions will take place instead of crippling the entire cryptocurrency infrastructure.

Picture Credits: Threatpost

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