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US Treasury Department blacklists Bitcoin addresses linked to Iran ransomware group

The U.S. Division of the Treasury has blacklisted seven Bitcoin wallet addresses linked to members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The division mentioned in a Sept. 14 press release that the Iran-based malicious cyber actors have launched ransomware assaults in opposition to the U.S. since 2020. The group is alleged to have attacked the New Jersey municipality, some U.S-based youngsters’s hospitals, and a bunch of personal institutions.

The IRGC-affiliated people embrace Mansour, Ali Ahmadi, Mohammad Ahmadi, Mahdavi, Rashidi, Khatibi, Nikaeen, Mostafa, Mojtaba, and Shakeri. They’d labored for Najee Expertise and Afkar System firms to launch their malicious actions.

4 of the backlisted bitcoin (XBT) wallets have been linked to Nikaeen Ravari and whereas three belonged to Ahmad Khatibi Aghada. The duo is alleged to have helped the IRGC develop and deploy ransomware that threatened the nationwide safety of the U.S.

Because of the sanction, the Treasury has seized all properties belonging to the designated people within the nation. U.S individuals and establishments are prohibited from transacting with them, as anybody indicted will probably be subjected to additional sanctions.

Secretary of the Treasury Mind E. Nelson mentioned:

“We’ll proceed to take coordination motion with our international companions to fight and deter ransomware threats, together with these related to the IRGC.”

The Treasury additionally supplied as much as $10 million in rewards for any data that can result in the arrest of Mansour, Nikaeen, or any of the designated people.

Ransomware Attackers choosing Bitcoin

Between 2011 and 2021, over $5 billion price of Bitcoin has been paid out to ransomware attackers, in line with a research by the Monetary Crimes Enforcement Community (FinCEN).

The ransomware assault in opposition to Colonial Pipeline in 2021 pressured the American firm to pay out $4,4 million in Bitcoin to the DarkSide hackers.

A latest report by CipherTrace reveals that ransomware attackers who decide to obtain their funds in Bitcoin normally add between 10% to twenty% premiums. The additional cost is to cope with the danger of utilizing simply traceable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

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