Analysis

Crypto Exchange Blacklisting To Test US Sanctions' Teeth

By Ben Kochman (September 24, 2021, 6:30 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's unprecedented blacklisting of a cryptocurrency platform accused of helping cybercriminals convert funds into real-world currency will test its ability to sway ransomware actors' behavior, as officials sharpen their pitch for victims to report attacks.

Treasury's move on Tuesday to add Russia-based SUEX to the government's sanctions list — the agency's first labeling of a cryptocurrency exchange as a "malicious cyber actor" — also signals authorities' strategy to focus their sanctions efforts, at least at first, on the wider ecosystem that enables attacks rather than on attackers themselves.

Targeting a cryptocurrency exchange rather than a ransomware cartel with sanctions serves at...

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