Three federal agencies in the United States, viz., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center have jointly issued an advisory asking for the Bitcoin wallet information of the ransomware attackers to curb the growing ransomware attacks.
The campaign launched by the federal agencies goes by the name #StopRansomware, has alerted the Vice Society citizens regarding a ransomware-type program. It encrypts data and demands ransom for decryption through a bitcoin wallet address. The three federal agencies have anticipated a rise in ransomware attacks. This is primarily aimed at educational institutions. The agencies stated,
“School districts with limited cybersecurity capabilities and constrained resources are often the most vulnerable.”
Proactive measures are vital to counter the rising ransomware attacks. The FBI has urged US citizens to report all information that is helpful in tracking the whereabouts of the ransomware attackers. This also includes blockchain wallet. The FBI also seeks some key information, of which Bitcoin wallet information is very crucial. Others include IP addresses linked to the attackers and the ransom notes. By making use of the Bitcoin wallet information, federal agencies can be able to track back illegal transactions on the immutable blockchain of Bitcoin (BTC) without having to worry about the trail vanishing.
Rewards For Justice
For the first time, the US government has revealed the face of a Conti associate. It is offering a reward of up to $10 million to people, who provide information about hacking groups such as Conti, TrickBot, and Wizard Spider. The following tweet was posted on the official Twitter handle of Rewards For Justice:
The U.S. Government reveals the face of a Conti associate for the first time! We’re trying to put a name with the face!— Rewards for Justice (@RFJ_USA) August 11, 2022
To the guy in the photo: Imagine how many cool hats you could buy with $10 million dollars!
Write to us via our Tor-based tip line: https://t.co/WvkI416g4W pic.twitter.com/28BgYXYRy2
Bitcoin offers frictionless cross-border transactions and thus most ransomware attackers prefer using fiat currencies in the bid to fund all their illegal activities. Research states that back in 2021, just 0.15% of activity on blockchain facilitated crimes and that the percentage is going down with each passing year.
Additionally, the federal agency trio discourages Americans to pay the ransom through a blockchain wallet or other ways as the payment never guarantees the recovery of the hostage files. The individuals can rather choose to visit a local FBI office and report the ransomware attack details or choose official communication channels.
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