Category Archives: sanctions

Treasury fines virtual currency exchange Bittrex for failing to catch ransomware payments

The Treasury Department announced on Tuesday parallel settlements with Bittrex, a virtual currency exchange based in Washington state, for allegations the company violated U.S. sanctions and anti-money laundering laws. The agencies brought $24 and $29 million dollar fines respectively, resulting in a total of $29 million in fines after remittance. An investigation by Treasury’s Office […]

Alternative payment apps such as AliPay a boon for cybercriminals, experts tell Congress

Experts warned members of Congress against a myopic focus on the illicit role of cryptocurrencies, instead pointing to how payment apps developed in China and Russia pose a national security threat. “Focusing only on cryptocurrency risks misunderstanding this global, thriving ecosystem,” Scott Dueweke, global fellow at the Wilson Center, told members of the House Financial […]

U.S. government takes sweeping action against Iranian hackers accused of ransomware spree

The U.S. government on Wednesday announced wide-ranging punitive actions against 10 Iranians and two Iranian companies — including sanctions, indictments and multiple $10 million rewards — related to a spree of breaches and ransomware attacks around the U.S. dating to October 2020. All 10 people and the two companies are affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary […]

Why Tornado Cash sanctions are drawing fierce criticism, potential court challenge from crypto group

U.S. sanctions against cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash last week have ignited concern from industry stakeholders, privacy advocates and legal experts over what the future of virtual currencies look like under the Biden administration. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control placed the sanctions in response to alleged negligence by Tornado Cash’s operators to prevent […]

Cryptocurrency ‘mixers’ see record transactions from sanctioned actors

Use of so-called cryptocurrency “mixers,” which combine various types of assets to mask their origin, peaked at a 30-day average of nearly $52 million worth of digital currency in April, representing an unprecedented volume of funds moving through those services, researchers at cryptocurrency research firm Chainalysis found. A near two-fold increase in funds sent from […]

FBI, CISA, Treasury: North Korean hackers taking aim at health care with Maui ransomware

Three federal agencies said Wednesday that North Korean hackers have been attacking the health care sector with ransomware, and cautioned victims that paying up could run afoul of U.S. sanctions rules. The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity an Infrastructure Security Agency and the Treasury Department said in an alert that the hackers were […]

Treasury sanctions virtual currency mixer Blender for money laundering

The Treasury Department said Friday it has sanctioned Blender.io, a so-called virtual currency mixer which Treasury alleges that the North Korean government uses to pay for its hacking program and to launder stolen virtual currency. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at Treasury issued the sanctions, alleging that on March 23 the North Korean […]

In a first, Treasury Department sanctions major cryptocurrency mining firm

The Treasury Department on Wednesday sanctioned major cryptocurrency mining company Bitriver for helping to facilitate the evasion of sanctions against Russia. The action marks a significant step by the agency in its crackdown on cryptocurrency technology used for illicit means and its first sanctions against a mining company. “By operating vast server farms that sell […]

Treasury updates Lazarus Group sanctions with digital currency address linked to Ronin Bridge hack

The U.S. Treasury Department expanded its sanctions against the North Korean state-backed hackers known as Lazarus Group on Thursday with information that links the group to a recent high-profile cryptocurrency theft. The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the sanctions were part of the Biden administration’s “persistent engagement vision” for confronting North Korea’s […]

A practical reason why crypto might not work for large-scale sanctions evasion

When lawmakers recently asked experts about Russia’s ability to use cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions, the answer was simple: There wasn’t any evidence of such activity. The experts now say they have more insight as to why cryptocurrency isn’t playing a large-scale role in whatever Russia might be doing to dodge the restrictions Western nations have […]

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