US Treasury Targeting Crypto Exchanges in Effort to Counter Ransomware 0 67

The Department of Treasury in the United States have shifted their focus towards crypto exchanges and are taking actions against those that are responsible for laundering ransoms. This is part of the government’s efforts to counter the ransomware attacks that appear to be becoming the norm. They have already sanctioned one cryptocurrency exchange, along with some of its crypto addresses that were used for this purpose. Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary said that they would continue their crackdown against any malicious actors. On Tuesday, a set of actions were announced by the Treasury Department, and these include an updated advisory that was published on ransomware.

In addition, they have also made some additions to the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked People (SDN) of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The Department of Treasury noted that it was part of the government’s effort counter the ransomware attacks. Therefore, a set of actions has been outlined, which is aimed at disrupting criminal networks and also target any virtual currency exchanges that seem to be responsible for laundering the ransoms that are collected in these ransomware attacks. The actions are also meant to enhance cybersecurity in the private sector. 

Furthermore, they also want to encourage reporting of ransomware payment to US government agencies, which include law enforcement, as well as the Treasury. It was further noted in the announcement that in 2020 the ransom payments made in these attacks had surpassed $400 million, which puts them at a value that’s four times what it had been in 2019. The Treasury said that there were some virtual currency exchanges that were a vital part of this entire ecosystem. This is because cryptocurrency has become the primary means of facilitating these ransom payments in the attacks and the associated money laundering activities.

The Department of Treasury said that while most of the activity of virtual currency exchanges was legal, it is a fact that these digital currencies can be used for illegal activities via peer-to-peer exchanges and mixers. This includes facilitation of ransomware schemes, sanction evasions and other cybercrimes. As far as the actions taken are concerned, they include the sanctions that were imposed against the Suex crypto exchange, which is based in Russia, for facilitation of financial transactions on behalf of ransomware actors. The Treasury elaborated that this was the first crypto exchange that had been targeted for laundering the ransoms collected in the attacks.

All interests and property of the exchange pertaining to US jurisdiction were blocked and the announcement said that people and companies in the US are now prohibited from engaging in transactions with said exchange. Janet Yellen said that these cyber and ransomware attacks are victimizing small and large businesses across America and can be a direct threat to the economy. She added that they would continue to take action against them. She said that cybercriminals were using sophisticated technology and methods, so they were prepared to use all measures, including regulatory tools and sanctions, for deterring, disrupting and preventing ransomware attacks. 

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Sentenced ‘Bitcoin Czar’ Named Among Pandora Papers 0 9

Juts couple of days ago ICIJ published its new research about some of the world’s top leaders’ and influential peoples’ stories of financial misconducts.  The reports by ICIJ also argued that “Bitcoin czar” may have been the member of the Carbanak hacking group. The International Consortium of Investigation Journalists (ICIJ) have also discussed the crypto criminal in their new leaks called “Pandora Papers.’

The ICIJ’s Pandora Papers have claimed “Bitcoin czar” a famous criminal who masterminded the largest “cyberheist in history” own the offshore assets. However, the Pandora Papers also said that those offshore assets being managed by a third independent firm.

Pandora Papers have exposed how some of the world’s most influential people have hidden their wealth. Where those papers have exposed world’s top 300 politicians and businessmen. The report has also discussed the operations of hacker group Carbanak. The cybergang according to the reports have stolen around $1.24 billion from financial institutes and the digital crypto exchnages as well. The network operated over more than 100 countries from 2013 to 2017.

However, the most famous arrest of this network’s members came in 2018, when the authorities finally managed to arrest the master mind Denis Tokarenko (also known as Denis Katana), and many people have voiced that Pandora Papers indirectly called his name.

The reports published by the Bloomberg’s business research and network team concluded that at the time of Tokarenko’s arrest back in the month of March 2018, the Spanish National Police recovered 15,000 Bitcoin (BTC), worth $162 million from his possession. This is history’s biggest crypto scam till today.

The illegal approach adopted by the Tokarenko did not just end here. The Chief inspector of the Spanish police, Carlos Yuste also told the sources that Tokarenko also purchased a bitcoin mining system in China. He used his mining system to launder his illegal Bitcoins as well.

Despite the fact that Pandora Papers have not directly covered the crypto thefts and other cyber-attacks, but these papers have partially included the incidents from digital trading as well. This leads to the future possibility the ICICJ might decided to open up about the digital thefts and cybercrimes incidents as well.

But the fact is that Pandora Papers have provide quite the useful insight about the some of world’s most famous cyber-attacks on the recent time. If authorities decided to put investigate these facts, then there might be multiple people who find them behind the bar. The primary issue regarding the cyber-attacks culprits is that majority of them gets away because of the lack of the profs. The only notable person who was sent to prison on committing a cybercrime was former Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation employee Maia Santos Deguito.

Uzbekistani Citizens Warned Against the Use of Unauthorized Exchanges 0 9

The government of Uzbekistan has been quite proactive when it comes to the use of crypto exchanges. As most of you may know, there has been a fair bit of commotion in the crypto world and most of it exists because of the regulations being implemented by a large number of governments. While some people are not in the favor of these regulations, many people, including a large number of crypto experts believe that they will be quite handy.

This is because regulating crypto will ensure that people don’t have to worry about false transactions, scams, frauds, and a large number of other issues prevalent in the world of crypto. The government of Uzbekistan has been especially quite determined to eliminate crypto-related corruption in the country. One of the first steps that the country has taken is to make sure that people in the country steer clear from making transactions with unauthorized exchanges.

For those who don’t know, there are loads and loads of exchanges operating in Uzbekistan and other countries in the world. Sure, not all of them are unauthorized but you will be surprised to learn that a large number of them happen to not be authorized.  What makes things so complicated is the fact that knowing which exchange is legit and which one isn’t can be quite challenging. This is because most exchanges, if not all, look one in the same and it is difficult for people to tell them apart.

This is one of the main reasons why the government of Uzbekistan has stepped in and tried to take matters into its own hands. One of the main aims of this exchange is to make sure that people do not have to worry about checking which exchange they would choose to invest crypto in. Instead, the government has been helping people quite a bit by creating teams just for the purpose of checking these exchanges.

In addition to that, the Uzbekistani government has also issued a notice against unauthorized crypto exchanges, stating that using them could result in serious action. Upon checking some of the exchanges operating in Uzbekistan, it was learned that there were more than 5 of them that did not have their own offices in the country. Instead, research teams found out, after a thorough investigation that these unauthorized exchanges were operating from somewhere else.

This was enough to suggest that the government is indeed hard at work to steer clear from crypto corruption in the country. Because of this, governments of other countries have also become quite proactive in order to eliminate any sort of corruption to keep investors safe.

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