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US Justice Department Creates New Task Force to Fight Cryptocurrency Ransomware Attacks

The rise in ransomware assaults over the previous 12 months has now pressured the United States to improve its efforts in combating these assaults. The Justice Department is now creating a brand new activity power to crack down on hackers utilizing digital currencies to conduct their assaults.

Ransomware Attacks utilizing Digital Currencies

A current publication by Bloomberg has highlighted the function of this new activity power as focusing on the platforms that allow hackers to demand monetary rewards to restore methods that they have compromised. During ransomware assaults, hackers primarily select cryptocurrencies as the tactic to be utilized by people and establishments to pay for the demanded ransom.

The US Deputy Attorney General, Lisa Monaco, has said that cryptocurrency exchanges can assist battle these assaults. “Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future. We need to make sure that folks can have confidence when they use these systems,” Monaco said.

In September, the US Treasury sanctioned Suex, a cryptocurrency alternate primarily based within the Czech Republic, for enabling ransom funds. Moreover, the Justice Department has fashioned a brand new initiative that requires authorities contractors to report any hacking assaults and vulnerabilities in their safety methods.

Monaco added that there could be dire penalties for individuals who fail to report as required. “We will extract very hefty fines. This is a tool we have to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used effectively.”

Ransom Attacks on the Rise

The US has proven vigilance in combating ransomware assaults which have skyrocketed lately. In 2020 alone, the US reviews that greater than $400 million was misplaced to ransomware funds. This was 4 instances increased than the variety of ransomware funds made in 2019.

The growth of cryptocurrencies has performed a job on this improve. The decentralized and nameless nature of cryptocurrencies has made them enticing to hackers who need to conceal their identities. Unlike banking transactions, cryptocurrencies are tough to flag and cease, therefore making them preferable by cybercriminals.

Bitcoin is not the one cryptocurrency utilized in ransomware funds as a result of current years have additionally seen an inflow in using privateness cash comparable to Monero. Unlike Bitcoin transactions that may be tracked to particular pockets addresses, Monero transactions are 100% nameless.

However, these statistics don’t present that crypto transactions are main within the monetary crimes charts. In truth, data exhibits that in 2020, crimes associated to crypto transactions accounted for lower than 1% of monetary crimes. Out of this 1%, the bulk was associated to scams, and solely a small portion was linked to ransomware.

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