Multiple sanctions were issued in response to ransomware activities by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Two shell companies and ten individuals have been sanctioned for their extortion of US infrastructure providers and businesses. They also prohibit all commerce with them – whether in cryptocurrency or not.
The DOJ also brought criminal charges against three persons named in absentia.
Attack on Hospitals and Transportation Nodes
Since at least 2020, the attacks were led by alleged IRGC shell firms Najee Technology, and Afkar System. Once hackers gained access to the target’s IT systems they would lock out the legitimate users and demand a ransom in Bitcoin to unlock the keys.
These ransomware attacks wouldn’t have been as serious if they only targeted small businesses. However, the hacker also targeted institutions that are vital to the public.
“The group targeted a broad range of U.S.-based victims from June to August 2021, including healthcare providers, transportation providers, emergency service providers, educational institutions, and healthcare practices.
Both criminal and sanction charges can be applied
They have been added to the US Government’s official sanctions list. A New Jersey court is also pursuing them legally. The second legal action is meaningless, as all the suspects are in another country without an extradition agreement with the US. The move effectively bans the group from travelling to the US and any other country that is allied with it.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a statement to the technical inclined. It outlines the procedures used in cyberattacks and how to prevent them from happening again. These attacks are just the latest in a series of ransomware attacks by hackers allegedly sponsored by the state, according to Brian E. Nelson (Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence).
“Ransomware actors, and other cybercriminals have targeted businesses across the board, regardless of their national origins or base of operation – directly threatening America’s physical security and economy.” We will continue to coordinate with our global partners in order to fight and deter ransomware threats. This includes those associated with IRGC.
The US Government and its security agencies will continue to fight similar attacks. They have also set up a bounty of $5 million for information about the suspects in this case.
CryptoPotato’s first article, US Sanctions IRGC Affiliate Hackers on Ransomware Charges, appeared first on CryptoPotato.
Marla Brooks – Financial Analysis
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