A public-private task force has submitted a report to Biden’s administration containing recommendations to tighten the regulation of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, with the aim of fighting ransomware. “The cryptocurrency sector that enables ransomware crime needs to be better regulated,” the task force wrote.
White House pushes for tightening crypto regulations
A task force organized by the Institute for Security and Technology submitted a report entitled “Combating Ransomware” to the Biden administration on Thursday with 48 recommendations, some aimed at tightening crypto regulation.
The recommendations were developed by the Ransomware Task Force (RTF), which the report describes as “a broad coalition of volunteer experts from industry, government, law enforcement, civil society, cybersecurity insurers and international organizations.” The goal is to “provide a strategic framework for a systemic, global approach to mitigating the ransomware problem”.
The report claims that “Ransomware payments are typically made in cryptocurrency,” which are “difficult to track.” One of the “Priority Recommendations” in the report reads:
The cryptocurrency sector that enables ransomware crime needs to be more strictly regulated. Governments should require cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto kiosks and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks to comply with existing laws, including Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (CFT) laws.
The report addresses some crypto-related recommendations, such as: “Develop new levers for voluntarily sharing cryptocurrency payment indicators,” “Encourage voluntary information exchanges between cryptocurrency and law enforcement entities,” and seizures. “
“The use of cryptocurrency adds to the challenge of identifying ransomware criminals as payments made with these currencies are difficult to attribute to an individual,” the report said. “Ransomware criminals can also cover up their transactions through cryptocurrency mixing services.” It also notes that some groups will also require payment in privacy coins, such as Monero. However, the task force pointed out that these coins are currently “not as liquid as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
Members of the RTF include the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) and representatives from the US Secret Service (USSS), the UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s National Cybercrime Coordination Unit.
“Ransom paid by private companies is throwing millions of dollars into criminal activity every year,” the report adds, noting that “the total amount paid by ransomware victims rose 311% by 2020 to nearly $ 350 million in cryptocurrency. “
What do you think of this task force pushing for the government to tighten crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments below.
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