Politicians in the United States are at it again, as they found another stick to beat the crypto community with, this time in the form of an all-out war against ransomware and crypto payments to criminal groups.
According to Reuters, a Department of Justice senior official has confirmed that investigations regarding ransomware attacks are set to be elevated in the kind of level as terrorism-related incidents.
The DOJ has reportedly sent updated guidelines to U.S. lawyers including revised protocols on when to involve central bodies, some pertaining to crypto exchanges.
Combating ransomware a priority for the current administration
“We really want to make sure prosecutors and criminal investigators report and are tracking cryptocurrency exchanges, illicit online forums or marketplaces,” said John Carlin, DOJ Principal Associate Deputy General.
It can be recalled that just days later, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, in a briefing session, told members of the press that fighting ransomware is a priority for the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.
Biden has already ordered a strategic review to address the increased threat of cybersecurity attacks which will include expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and pursue criminal transactions, alluding to the notion that such digital assets are being used in different illegal activities.
A call for action
Recently, America-based companies were forced to pay insane amounts of crypto ransoms. Three incidents, in particular, caused fear and concerns in the U.S. business community.
The first incident took place in March when insurer CNA was forced to pay $40 million in crypto to a hacker group in order to undo the damage they have caused.
Next was the attack from the DarkSide hacking group that used the same kind of digital threat on Colonial Pipeline in May, disrupting oil and gas supply to a number of East Coast locations.
The most recent attack, initiated by the REvil ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) organization, made JBS meat processing plants halt their operations.
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