Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange over its alleged role in enabling illegal payments from ransomware attack. Ransomware has become an increasing threat in recent times taking down systems that control everything from hospital billing to manufacturing.
“As cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated methods and technology, we are committed to using the full range of measures, to include sanctions and regulatory tools, to disrupt, deter, and prevent ransomware attacks”said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
“Virtual currency exchanges such as SUEX are critical to the profitability of ransomware attacks, which help fund additional cybercriminal activity,” Treasury said in a statement. “Treasury will continue to disrupt and hold accountable these entities to reduce the incentive for cyber criminals to continue to conduct these attacks.”
The threat has grown so prominent that U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a July meeting that “critical infrastructure” companies should be off limits to ransomware gangs. Such groups often operate from Russia or Ukraine, according to cybersecurity experts and federal prosecutors.