The US government has announced its intention to strengthen its crypto monitoring and analysis capabilities to combat ransomware attacks that use digital assets to extort victims.
In a recent press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration was aware of a ransomware attack targeting the world’s largest meat producer JBS, which has factories in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Jean-Pierre stated that the fight against ransomware is a White House priority, and that in efforts to protect against such attacks, the Biden administration will increase its toolkit and capabilities to monitor cryptocurrency transactions linked to hacks.
Expanding crypto monitoring and analytics, fighting ransomware
Jean-Pierre said in his statement:
“President Biden has embarked on a rapid strategic review to address the growing ransomware threat in a four-phase effort. The first phase is the deployment of ransomware infrastructure and actors working closely with the private sector. The second phase is to build an international coalition to hold countries hosting ransom actors accountable… [as well as] expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and track criminal action; and review the USG’s ransomware policies.”
The FBI associates the JBS hack with a Russia-based group known as REvil or Sodinokibi. The White House is contacting the Russian government directly on this issue and is sending the message that responsible states will not harbor ransomware criminals.