US government blacklists BTC wallets and individuals involved in ransomware attacks
Image source: Crypto Slate
Security has long been an issue in the digital age, and the issue has only become more important within the crypto space.
Hackers allegedly associated with the Iranian military have been sanctioned by the US government and blacklisted their BTC addresses.
Today, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on 10 people and two entities for alleged ransomware attacks.
According to them, the individuals and two companies associated with a ransomware group are affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.
As a result, they blocked their Bitcoin wallet addresses.
The department said those added to the government sanctions lists participated in coordinated ransomware attacks.
Their targets include a number of US-based companies and organizations; the attacks have already been underway since 2020.
Since the digital age has become the norm, ransomware has become more and more important.
In these types of attacks, hackers can remotely block a device or network by exploiting software flaws.
Once inside, they require payment for the user to unlock access.
Cryptocurrency has been the preferred payment method for several years because it is more difficult to track compared to other digital payment methods.
Despite the transparency of several blockchain networks like Bitcoin, tracking still proves to be a challenge.
According to Treasury Department officials, the Iranian group’s targets included a children’s hospital, a New Jersey town, a rural electric company, and numerous other businesses.
Those involved in the attack have been identified as employees or partners of two companies: Najee Technology Hooshmand Fater LLC and Afkar System Yazd Company.
Because the alleged attackers and their companies are on OFAC’s sanctions list, U.S. citizens, businesses, and organizations cannot interact with them. Known forwards
The Treasury has targeted three people: Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatigi Aghda, and Amir Hossein Nikaeen Ravari.
The three people were charged by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey in connection with the ransomware attack.
Meanwhile, the state of New Jersey is offering rewards of up to $ 10 million for information relating to the attackers.
The attacks prompted the Treasury last month to add an Ethereum coin mixing tool designed to cover cryptocurrency movements called Tornado Cash.
According to the Treasury, Tornado Cash was primarily used to launder money and steal cryptocurrencies.
Like other decentralized applications, it works autonomously through a programmed smart contract, so it is not managed by any person or company.
The decision was divisive, drawing criticism from the crypto space and questions from U.S. Representative Tom Emmer.
Amid the repudiation, the Treasury Department clarified its position on the use of Tornado Cash, noting that people who send funds through Tornado Cash without their consent will not be penalized.
Treasury blacklist Bitcoin addresses linked to Iranian ransomware group