US launches inter-agency task force to tackle ransomware wave

The US government has introduced a new inter-agency task force aimed at combating the increasing challenge of ransomware on the United States.

According to Cyberscoop, one of the key aims of the new task force is to cut groups like REvil off from virtual currencies – the route that the hackers use to collect ransom from victims and sell services to affiliates.

The US Treasury Department will support the execution of money laundering requirements for virtual currency exchanges and building partnerships with the industry to track the currency in real-time.

Meanwhile, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is intending to announce a new public-private information sharing group that involves tech firms, financial institutions, third-party service providers and federal government agencies.

A US senior administration official said, “The exploitation of virtual currency to launder ransomware proceeds is without question, facilitating ransomware. There’s inadequate international regulation of virtual currency activity, which is a key factor in how cybercriminals are able to launder their funds, demand ransomware payments and fuel sophisticated cybercrime as a service business model.

“One key gap we do have in the US is really full visibility into ransomware activity, which is important in order to give us the data we need for law enforcement efforts, for disruptive efforts, for thoughtful policy efforts that are really built on an understanding of the ransomware ecosystem.”

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