Market Daily

Market Daily

TikTok becomes main concern for FBI, cites security reasons

TikTok: FBI Director Chris Wray has warned people about the popular short video-sharing app, citing national security concerns.

Wray shed light on TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, saying it is run by a government that doesn’t share the same values ​​as the United States.

The news

On Friday, Chris Wray reiterated national safety concerns about the app.

He revealed that the FBI was worried about the Chinese control of the app’s recommendation algorithm.

Control allows the Chinese to manipulate the content, possibly using it to influence operations.

Additionally, Wray says China could utilize TikTok to collect data from users for traditional espionage operations.


Chris Wray’s warning came last week at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States,” Wray told audiences.

“That should concern us.”

Furthermore, the FBI director’s concerns are similar to those raised during his November congressional appearances.

Finally, Wray shared that the concerns are part of an ongoing conversation in Washington.

Read also: TikTok among the companies to keep hiring going


The Trump administration previously threatened to ban TikTok in 2020 over concerns about Chinese influence.

Additionally, the administration pressured ByteDance to sell the app to a company in the United States.

Finally, US officials and TikTok are in talks to reach an agreement to resolve US security concerns.

According to Wray, the process is happening across all US government agencies.


Brooke Overwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, released a statement via email saying:

“As Director Wray has previously said, the FBI’s input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the US Government.”

“While we can’t comment on the specifics of those confidential discussions, we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns and have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions.”

Read also: Cannabis industry set to face challenging start in New York

The company

Beijing-based ByteDance owns the video-sharing app.

Friday’s statement said TikTok was a private company.

It also reminds people that TikTok is an American company bound by American laws.

During a Senate hearing in September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas addressed questions from both sides.

She concluded that the company protects all US user data, noting that Chinese government officials do not have access.

“We will never share data, period,” said Pappas.


FBI director raises national concerns about TikTok

Ransomware attack leads US Treasury to blacklist 10 individuals and their BTC wallets

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.

The news

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.

The targets

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.

High-profile attackers

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.

Tornado Cash

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.


Treasury blacklist Bitcoin addresses linked to Iranian ransomware group