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Treasury Sanctions 2 Ransomware Actors, Virtual Currency Exchange; Wally Adeyemo Quoted

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The Department of the Treasury has sanctioned virtual currency exchange Chatex and its associated network of three companies for facilitating transactions for threat actors involved in ransomware attacks.

The Treasury said Monday the office of foreign assets control also imposed sanctions on a Russian and a Ukrainian for their role in carrying out ransomware attacks against U.S. companies and government agencies.

With the designation, the U.S. would block all designated targets’ property and interests and prohibit all U.S. individuals from engaging in transactions with the two ransomware actors, virtual currency exchange and its network.

“Ransomware groups and criminal organizations have targeted American businesses and public institutions of all sizes and across sectors, seeking to undermine the backbone of our economy,” said Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the Treasury.

The department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network also issued an update to its 2020 ransomware advisory. The updated document includes information on ransomware-related trends and typologies, examples of ransomware incidents and financial red flag indicators of illicit activity related to ransomware to help financial institutions identify and report suspicious transactions in compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. 

“We will continue to bring to bear all of the authorities at Treasury’s disposal to disrupt, deter, and prevent future threats to the economy of the United States. This is a top priority for the Biden Administration,” added Adeyemo.

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