• Fri. Aug 18th, 2023

Ransomware’s Double-Edged Crypto Sword

Jun 30, 2023
Ransomware's Crypto Sword
Marcel Bich

According to Brian E. Nelson, assistant secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ransomware criminals “almost exclusively” deal in digital assets. 

According to Marshall Miller, principal assistant senior counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice, while bitcoin is essential in supporting ransomware activities, it may also be utilized to combat the issue. The blockchain has one feature that makes everyone transparent. 

Officers may “start to make a real difference in attacking ransomware” by seizing back stolen assets and utilizing them to compensate the targets in order to promote disclosure of crimes, Miller added.

Who is the Target

It might be challenging to strike the ideal balance between preserving the confidentiality of trustworthy users and catching criminals. For example, cryptocurrency mixers are designed to safeguard the anonymity of users who want to conduct transactions in an anonymous manner. 

Nelson stated that threat actors, especially those from North Korea, utilize them to hide the source and destination of cash while limiting law enforcement’s ability to track their transit. These services have been utilized by the Kim Jong Un dictatorship to launder billions of dollars for the purpose of funding its development of WMDs.

The answer, according to Nelson, is for the public and commercial sectors to collaborate on figuring out how to integrate virtual currencies into the payments system without giving advantage to criminals.

The Main Focus on Hackers

According to Miller, authorities frequently target the “worst of the worst,” including exchanges and cryptomixers that advertise their role as facilitators of crimes. Law enforcement must be able to focus on criminal organizations while preserving the anonymity of normal users, thus it is crucial that we have a clear regulatory structure and the instruments we require from a legal perspective, according to him.