The US government is creating a team to investigate attacks and fight hackers who distribute ransomware and demand a ransom in cryptocurrencies to unlock data.
According to Politico, a new US government task force will try to find ways to “stop ransom payments being made through cryptocurrency platforms.” In addition, the group will assist ransomware victims in strengthening their internal defenses and launch attacks against virus-spreading hackers.
As the publication notes with reference to the head of the NSA Cybersecurity Office, Anne Neuberger, the US Financial Crimes Network (FinCEN) will hold a conference, and other government agencies will provide resources for victims of the ransomware.
It is not yet clear what rules for regulating the industry might be proposed by the new working group. Members of the Ransomware Task Force, an international ransomware task force, stated in an April report that consistent AML and KYC compliance across countries is the most effective tool for eliminating ransomware in cryptocurrencies.
The hackers have received increased attention from US regulators after a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline operator of the largest fuel supply system in the US, which caused fuel shortages. The company paid the hackers $ 5 million in cryptocurrency, but the US Department of Justice returned to the Colonial Pipeline part of the bitcoins paid to the hackers, and the US Congress began to investigate the payment of cryptocurrencies to extortionists.
At the beginning of the month, another attack by REvil hackers paralyzed the networks of at least 200 American companies. The ransom amount for decrypting the data is about $ 70 million in BTC. According to Ransomwhere, at the beginning of the year, ransomware hackers earned about $ 33 million in BTC from ransoms. This amount could grow significantly if the REvil group receives a ransom of $ 70 million in BTC from Kaseya.