The Biden administration plans to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency in ransomware attacks by tracing the earnings given to hackers who are responsible for shutting down businesses, qccording to people familiar with the situation, government agencies and organisations are involved.
Bounties of up to $10 million will be offered for information that leads police to cyberattackers as part of the US strategy, a senior administration official said.
In a press conference on Wednesday, the official said the White House had formed a task force and that the administration's strategy included efforts to disrupt ransomware operations, combat the use of cryptocurrencies in the attacks, and work with allies to encourage other countries not to harbour attackers.
The Treasury and State Departments will collaborate to promote cryptocurrency standards and tighten money-laundering laws. The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network intends to have a meeting with other government agencies, financial institutions, and third-party providers to discuss the ransomware issue.
Some members of Congress who attended a briefing on Wednesday with Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger were less than enthused. There was no discussion of a new government agency to lead the fight against ransomware operations, according to one politician who requested anonymity to discuss the briefing. Instead, much of the debate centred on defence — of businesses and essential infrastructure.
The persons added that Neuberger pointed out that there was no cybersecurity standard for private industry and that Congress would have to create one in order for that to happen.
The official who briefed media on the REvil ransomware gang, which mysteriously vanished from the dark web on Tuesday, did not provide any updates. The Russian-linked group has been accused of a slew of recent attacks, including one on JBS SA, the world's largest meat supplier, for which a $11 million ransom was eventually paid.
The disappearance occurred just days after President Joe Biden stated that he had encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action against hackers accused for recent ransomware assaults in his country.
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