Security Intelligence -
Treasury Crypto Security Sanction Blocks Exchange Favored by Ransomware Actors
The U.S. government sanctioned the cryptocurrency exchange SUEX for moving money for ransomware actors. In essence, that means U.S. citizens and corporate entities are banned from using it. The statement, released in September, is part of a wider effort to boost crypto security and “disrupt criminal networks and currency exchanges”.
The First Crypto Security Sanction
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury justified this decision on the grounds that SUEX had “facilitated transactions involving illicit proceeds from at least eight ransomware variants”.
It also noted that 40% of the cryptocurrency exchange’s transactions involved illicit actors.
Other U.S. Government Efforts to Disrupt Ransomware Payments
This was the first time OFAC and the FBI leveled crypto security sanctions against a virtual currency exchange.
“Some virtual currency exchanges are exploited by malicious actors, but others, as is the case with SUEX, facilitate illicit activities for their own illicit gains,” OFAC noted.
As part of the same effort, OFAC updated an advisory discussing its designation of malicious digital attackers under a crypto-security sanctions program.