US Treasury sanctions Iran-based ransomware group and related Bitcoin addresses

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The US Treasury Division’s Workplace of Overseas Asset Management has added 10 people, 2 entities, and several other crypto addresses allegedly tied to an Iranian ransomware group to its record of Specifically Designated Nationals, successfully making it unlawful for U.S. individuals and corporations to have interaction with them.

In a Wednesday announcement, the U.S. Treasury stated the people and corporations within the ransomware group had been affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a department of the nation’s navy. The group allegedly “performed a different vary of malicious cyber-enabled actions,” together with compromising the methods of a U.S.-based kids’s hospital in June 2021 and concentrating on “U.S. and Center Japanese protection, diplomatic, and authorities personnel.”

OFAC listed 7 Bitcoin (BTC) addresses allegedly related to 2 of the Iranian nationals — Ahmad Khatibi Aghada and Amir Hossein Nikaeed Ravar — as a part of its secondary sanctions. In line with Treasury, Khatibi has been related to know-how and laptop providers agency Afkar System — considered one of two entities sanctioned in the identical announcement — since 2007. The federal government division alleged Nikaeed “leased and registered community infrastructure” to help the ransomware group.

“Ransomware actors and different cybercriminals, no matter their nationwide origin or base of operations, have focused companies and significant infrastructure throughout the board — instantly threatening the bodily safety and economic system of the US and different nations,” stated Brian Nelson, Below Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Monetary Intelligence. “We’ll proceed to take coordination motion with our world companions to fight and deter ransomware threats.”

In a coordinated motion throughout the U.S. Authorities, OFAC designated a dozen Iran-based individuals for his or her roles in malicious cyber acts, together with ransomware exercise. The U.S., Australia, Canada & the UK are additionally publishing a joint cyber safety advisory. https://t.co/OVnr3jprBA

— Treasury Division (@USTreasury) September 14, 2022

The discover got here because the Justice Division introduced an indictment in opposition to Khatibi, Nikaeed, and Mansour Ahmadi — additionally one of many people listed in OFAC’s sanctions — for allegedly “orchestrating a scheme to hack into the pc networks” of entities and people in the US, together with the assaults cited by Treasury. In line with the Justice Division, the Iranian ransomware group focused a New Jersey-based accounting agency in February 2022, having Khatibi demand $50,000 in cryptocurrency in alternate for not promoting the corporate’s knowledge on the black market.

Associated: Monero’s crypto of alternative as ransomware ‘double extortion’ assaults enhance 500%

On Aug. 8, OFAC added greater than 40 cryptocurrency addresses related to controversial mixer Twister Money to its record of Specifically Designated Nationals, prompting criticism from many figures out and in of the house. Treasury clarified on Tuesday that U.S. individuals and entities weren’t prohibited from sharing Twister Money’s code, but in addition required a particular license to finish transactions initiated earlier than the sanctions had been imposed or make withdrawals.

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