Governments worldwide to crack down on ransomware payment channels

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Senior officials from more than 30 countries said that their governments would take action to disrupt the illicit cryptocurrency payment channels used by ransomware gangs to finance their operations.

The Counter-Ransomware Initiative hopes to drain their funding and take down their operations by disrupting the ransomware groups’ funding channels.

The efforts to disrupt ransomware groups’ abuse of cryptocurrency will include regulators, financial intelligence units, and law enforcement regulating, supervising, investigating, and taking action against virtual asset exploitation.

Complementary efforts will also include disrupting the ransomware ecosystem through law enforcement collaboration, improving network resilience to prevent attacks, addressing ransomware criminals’ safe-havens, and diplomatic engagement to encourage other countries to address ransomware operations active within their territory.

In October, the U.S. Treasury also warned that ransomware negotiators could face civil penalties for facilitating ransom payments if they involved ransomware gangs already on its sanctions list.

In July, Interpol urged police agencies and industry partners worldwide to fight together against the ransomware threat after G7 leaders asked Russia to crack down on ransomware gangs operating within its borders.

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