US takes sanctions against crypto exchange for facilitating ransomware groups

US takes sanctions against crypto exchange for facilitating ransomware groups

The US Treasury Department has sanctioned a crypto exchange for the first time for facilitating the transactions of ransomware groups. According to the ministry, an analysis of the transactions of crypto exchange Suex shows that at least eight ransomware groups have facilitated and that more than 40 percent of the transactions are associated with criminal parties.

“Crypto-exchanges such as Suex play a vital role in the profitability of ransomware attacks, which finance other cybercriminal activities. The ministry will hold and disrupt these parties to remove the incentive for cybercriminals to carry out these attacks,” it said. ministry. The sanctions imposed will ban Americans from doing business with Suex and freeze all of the company's assets under US jurisdiction.

According to Chainanalysis, which was involved in the crypto exchange investigation, Suex has received more than $160 million from ransomware groups and other cybercriminals. The company is registered in the Czech Republic, but would not have a physical office there. Instead, it operates out of Russia and the Middle East, where it converts cryptocurrencies into physical money, according to Chainanalysis.

The US Treasury Department states that some crypto exchanges are an indispensable part of the ransomware ecosystem. As part of a government-wide approach to ransomware, these crypto exchanges are now also being looked at. The US authorities have indicated that they do not rule out sanctions against other crypto exchanges.

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