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White House Battles Ransomware

Biden’s Administration to tighten crypto regulation pushed by Ransomware Task Force.

A public-private task force submitted a report to the Biden administrations which states recommendations to tighten the regulation of the cryptocurrencies, along with the aim to combat ransomware.

“The cryptocurrency sector that enables ransomware crime should be more closely regulated,” the task force wrote.

The Task force urged the White House to tighten Crypto regulation.

The task force submitted a report named “Combating Ransomware” to the Biden Administration. The report has 48 recommendations, some of which aimed to strengthen crypto regulation.

white house battles ransomware

The Ransomware Task Force made the recommendations, which describes as “a broad coalition of volunteer experts from industry, government, law enforcement, civil society, cybersecurity insurers, and international organizations.” Its objective is to “provide a strategic framework for a systemic, global approach to mitigating the ransomware problem.”

“Ransomware payments are typically made in cryptocurrency, which are difficult to trace.” the report stated.

What are the given recommendations to the White House?

One “Priority recommendations” highlighted in the report states:

“The cryptocurrency sector that enables ransomware crime should be more closely regulated. Governments should require cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto kiosks, and over-the-counter (OTC) trading ‘desks’ to comply with existing laws, including Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (CFT) laws.”

The report explains some crypto-related recommendations like;

  • “Develop new levers for voluntary sharing of cryptocurrency payment indicators,”
  • “Incentivize voluntary information sharing between cryptocurrency entities and law enforcement,”
  • “Centralize expertise in cryptocurrency seizure, and scale criminal seizure processes.”

“The use of cryptocurrency adds to the challenge of identifying ransomware criminals, as payments with these currencies are difficult to attribute to any individual,” explains the report. “Ransomware criminals can also obscure their transactions through cryptocurrency ‘mixing services.’”

The members of the RTF are:

  • US federal Bureau of Investigation
  • UK National Crime Agency
  • US Secret Service
  • UK National Cyber Security Centre
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s National Cybercrime Coordination Unit

“Ransoms paid by private firms siphon millions of dollars toward criminal enterprise every year,” the report continues, emphasizing that “The total amount paid by ransomware victims increased by 311% in 2020, reaching nearly $350 million worth of cryptocurrency.”

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