US Treasury Department sanctions Russian stock exchanges for ransomware transactions
The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned a Russian BTC exchange called SUEX for processing ransomware transactions, as we can learn more about today in our latest crypto news.
Suex is the first crypto exchange to be included on the US Treasury Department’s sanctioned list. The exchange operates outside of Russia and has been accused of conducting transactions for ransomware attackers. The crypto exchange has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for allegedly facilitating transactions for ransomware attackers on transactions worth more than $ 160 million in BTC. Today’s move makes Suex the first crypto exchange sanctioned by a government agency. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control claims the exchange helped trade the proceeds through illegal means, such as those associated with eight variations of the ransom. The analysis shows that more than 40% of known transactions are related in some way to these activities.
Suex has been added to OFAC’s special list of Citizens Designate and Banned Persons, which means U.S. citizens and corporations are prohibited from doing business with the company. The move comes as the Biden administration pushes to fight ransomware after a series of high profile attacks earlier this year. Ransomware is a software-based attack that blocks access to networks and computers until a ransom is demanded. Attackers claim that cryptocurrencies are more difficult to track than traditional payment methods.
The White House stepped up enforcement following the May ransomware attack Colonial pipeline led to massive fuel shortages on the US east coast. The company paid the attackers $ 5 million in BTC, but the US Department of Justice announced that it had recovered most of the extorted funds. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis also helped investigate Suex when it was found that Suex was trading hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, particularly Tether, Ethereum and Bitcoin, according to the company.
Chainalysis also states that the Russian BTC exchange Suex is legally registered in the Czech Republic but apparently operates entirely in Russia. The investigation found that Suex was converting cryptocurrencies into cash at physical locations in Russia to aid the flow of illegal funds. The exchange received over 50 million worth of BTC chain analysis wrote:
“The name we use today is important because it represents a significant crackdown by the US government against money launderers who benefit all other forms of crypto-based crime.
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