US and UK agree to ‘boost focus on illegal use of cryptocurrency’ – Bitcoin news regulation

US and UK agree to ‘boost focus on illegal use of cryptocurrency’ – Bitcoin news regulation

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have “committed and agreed to increase the focus on the illegal use of cryptocurrencies and ransomware,” the US Department of Justice announced. According to the FBI, high cryptocurrency prices have partially made ransomware “incredibly lucrative for criminals.”

Governments are working together to focus on the illegal use of cryptocurrencies

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Friday that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and officials from her Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Crime met with UK Secretary of the Interior Priti Patel on Thursday in Washington, DC.

“At the meeting, the two governments discussed close co-operation in combating a number of threats to their countries’ collective security, including the fight against terrorism, cybercrime and illicit financing,” the DOJ said.

Both the deputy state prosecutor and the interior minister pledged and agreed to step up their focus on the illegal use of cryptocurrency and ransomware, as well as to continue dialogue on new threats to national security.

The US government is trying to fight ransomware attacks. In October, Monaco announced to launch The National Team for the Implementation of Cryptocurrencies, the DOJ initiative for solving and prosecuting “criminal abuses of cryptocurrencies, especially crimes committed through virtual currency exchangers, mixing and overturning services and money laundering”.

That same month, President Joe Biden said the United States would brings together 30 countries stop “illegal use of cryptocurrency”.

FBI says ransomware is lucrative because of ‘virtual currency valuation’

At a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week, Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber ​​division, noted that high cryptocurrency prices encourage criminal networks and ransomware actors.

The hearing was part of a congressional investigation into multimillion-dollar ransomware attacks on major U.S. companies this year, including Colonial Pipeline Co. and the U.S. division of JBS Foods.

“In the last six months, we haven’t seen a reduction in the frequency of reporting ransomware attacks,” Vorndran said, adding:

We attribute this to the simple fact that it is incredibly lucrative for criminals. This is partly due to the valuation of the virtual currency, but partly due to the vulnerability of our systems and our infrastructure.

Global efforts have led to arrests and seizures

The U.S. government has recently taken action against some ransomware actors. In September, the US Treasury Department sanctioned the exchange of cryptocurrencies for the first time as part of the entire government’s efforts to combat ransomware. Suex was allegedly “responsible for laundering ransoms.”

Earlier this month there was another crypto exchange sanctioned. Chatex reportedly enabled “financial transactions for ransomware actors”. In addition, two alleged ransomware operators – Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi and Russian Yevgeny Poljanin – were fined “for their involvement in the Sodinokibi / Revil v. United States ransomware incident.” The DOJ also seized $ 6.1 million from Poljanin.

The director of the National Cyber, Inglis, said last week that Poljanin’s arrest was the result of cooperation between the countries, since the arrest happened when he crossed the border with Poland. “Cyberspace is a terrain without borders, and therefore, as much as they can reach us, we can reach them,” he said, elaborating:

If we attract allies, we can use jurisdiction in places like Poland and Romania to arrest these criminals and bring them to justice using the courts that exist in the West.

In October, a coordinated strike the involvement of Europol, Interpol and the FBI has led to the arrest of two “prolific” ransomware operators who are allegedly responsible for ransom demands of up to € 70 million. Cryptocurrencies worth $ 1.3 million were seized.

What do you think about the United States working with other countries to combat the illegal use of cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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