(Washington) The Biden administration is ready to impose sanctions against a number of entities to fight illegal cryptocurrency transactions such as ransom, says wall street journal Friday.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the paper said the US Treasury is planning to impose sanctions early next week.
Asked by AFP, the Treasury did not respond on Friday evening.
According to experts quoted by the business daily, the Treasury Department, which declined to specify the targets of the sanctions, should target digital wallets that receive ransom transactions and crypto platforms that help transfer these sums.
In addition to these targeted restrictions, the department also intends to issue new guidelines for businesses on the risks associated with facilitating payments after ransomware infection. The newspaper said the guidelines would also impose fines.
Cybersecurity is one of the Biden administration’s activists following a wave of cyberattacks, specifically using cryptocurrencies, that exposed major vulnerabilities.
Bitcoin is regularly criticized by regulators for its illegal use. It has been used by hackers who demand ransom from businesses or local communities to block a service.
The spectacular attack on the American company Colonial Pipeline in early May, which disrupted the delivery of fuel to the United States, provoked a strong reaction from the authorities and part of the ransom paid, $4.4 million paid in bitcoin, was recovered. has gone.
Later that same month, global meat giant JBS became the victim of a cyberattack and paid hackers $11 million in ransom.
Other recent targets in the United States include local communities, hospitals, insurers. Many of these attacks have been attributed to Russian-based hacker groups operating at least with the tacit approval of the Kremlin.
In July, President Joe Biden in a phone call asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to call on Russia to take action against “ransomware” cyber attacks.
According to a Chainalysis report in February, cryptocurrency transactions for illicit purposes reached $10 billion in 2020, or 1% of total crypto activity last year.
The number of ransoms paid in cryptocurrencies reached nearly $350 million in 2020.
Freelance twitter maven. Infuriatingly humble coffee aficionado. Amateur gamer. Typical beer fan. Avid music scholar. Alcohol nerd.