Image source: Crypto Slate
Security has long been an issue in the digital age, and the issue has only become more important within the crypto space.
Hackers allegedly associated with the Iranian military have been sanctioned by the US government and blacklisted their BTC addresses.
Today, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on 10 people and two entities for alleged ransomware attacks.
According to them, the individuals and two companies associated with a ransomware group are affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.
As a result, they blocked their Bitcoin wallet addresses. The department said people on government sanctions lists were involved in coordinated ransomware attacks.
Their targets include a number of US-based companies and organizations; the attacks have been going on since 2020.
Since the digital age has become the norm, ransomware has become more and more important.
In this type of attack, hackers can remotely block a device or network by exploiting software flaws.
Once inside, they must pay the user to unlock access.
Cryptocurrency has been the preferred payment method for several years now because it is more difficult to track than other digital payment methods.
Despite the transparency of various blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin, monitoring still proves to be a challenge.
Treasury officials said the Iranian group’s goals included a children’s hospital, a New Jersey city, a national power company, and numerous other companies.
The people involved in the attack were identified as employees or partners of two companies: Najee Technology Hooshmand Fater LLC and Afkar System Yazd Company.
Since the alleged attackers and their companies are on the OFAC sanctions list, US citizens, businesses, and organizations are unable to communicate with them.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey targeted three people: Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatigi Aghda, and Amir Hossein Nikaeen Ravari.
The three people were charged by the New Jersey District Attorney’s Office in connection with the ransomware attack.
Meanwhile, the state of New Jersey is offering rewards of up to $ 10 million for information on attackers.
The attacks prompted the Treasury last month to add an Ethereum coin mixing tool designed to cover cryptocurrency movements called Tornado Cash.
According to the Treasury, Tornado Cash was mainly used to launder money and steal cryptocurrencies.
Like other decentralized applications, it works autonomously via a programmed smart contract, so it is not controlled by any person or company.
The decision sparked controversy and drew criticism from the crypto space and questions from US Representative Tom Emmer.
Amid the rejection, the Treasury Department clarified its position on the use of Tornado Cash, noting that people who transfer money via Tornado Cash without their consent will not be penalized.