Biden Administration Sanctions Crypto Exchange Due to Alleged Ransomware Involvement
United States regulators are sanctioning the cryptocurrency exchange Suex for its alleged involvement with ransomware actors.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says the exchange, which is based in Russia and the Czech Republic, had a hand in facilitating financial transactions with proceeds stemming from at least eight ransomware variants.
According to the OFAC, analysis of known Suex transactions indicates that more than 40% of the exchange’s activity was associated with illicit actors.
Reports first surfaced last week that the Biden administration intended to hit unnamed ransomware targets with sanctions.
And at a White House briefing earlier this month, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies Anne Neuberger said that Americans and businesses must take active steps to prevent being victimized by ransomware attacks, even as the government rolls out regulations.
“We continue to see successful attacks occurring against vulnerabilities for which there are patches, so we want to use the opportunity of this pressroom and the attention that it gets to ask Americans, to ask organizations, to [take] the steps they need to… be safe online, even as the government focuses on its efforts.”
The FBI reports there was a nearly 21% increase in reported ransomware cases and a 225% increase in associated losses from 2019 to last year, according to the OFAC.
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