Saturday, July 2, 2022

FBI’s Cyber Division blamed crypto payments for the rise in ransomware attacks.

The Takeaway:

The assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, Bryan Vorndran, said that "crypto is the primary currency, the primary vehicle, to facilitate extortion payments."

During a virtual panel with Bloomberg on Tuesday, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, Bryan Vorndran, said that “crypto is the primary currency, the primary vehicle, to facilitate extortion payments.” He added that despite “some opportunities” offered by blockchain technology, “the ability to pay crypto, script it immediately into a tumbler, whether through an extortion payment or theft, is a huge, huge challenge for us.” 

 

FBI’s Cyber Division’s assistant director blamed mixers for laundering money.

A tumbler is a piece of technology that hides the source of crypto, which can and is used to clean any ill-gotten funds. They are sometimes also called “mixers.: Tumblers are also often used to hide the source of Bitcoin in ransomware cases, during which cyber attackers encrypt an entity’s computer systems, freezing the owners’ ability to access their data. In exchange for payment in Bitcoin, the attackers unlock the systems. The assistant director noted that tracking these funds is difficult as they usually never enter the traditional financial sector. 

 

U.S. law enforcement agencies elevated ransomware to the same priority level as terrorism. 

The United States government has prioritized tracking illicit crypto activity in the last few months. Following ransomware attacks on critical pieces of American infrastructure last year, the Department of Justice (DoJ) elevated ransomware to the same priority level as terrorism. The DoJ’s update came shortly after attacks on Colonial Pipeline, an oil pipeline that serves Southeastern states, and the U.S. subsidiary of meat processing giant JBS. The former attack caused a gasoline shortage in the region, earning major headlines and raising national attention around this type of cyber attack. 

Disclaimer: The article reflects the opinions of the author and is not representative of Chaintimes’ views.
The article does not offer any investment advice. User discretion is advised when investing in or trading with cryptocurrency. Extensive and diligent research should be carried out by the reader before making a decision.

Jai Pratap
Jai Pratap
A Mass Media Graduate who loves to write. Jai is also a sports enthusiast and a big movie buff. He loves to learn new things.

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