US govt announces crypto tracing Program & $10M Bounty to counter ransomware attacks

The US government has announced to take down hackers behind ransomware attacks, through an extensive and more thorough process of ‘crypto tracing’. Biden administration has claimed that the plan against hackers shall also involve bounties up to $10 million for data or leads on hackers behind the ransomware attacks. The news was revealed by government officials in a briefing with reporters on Wednesday.  

According to the reports, the White House had accumulated a task force, including the Treasury and State Departments, that will work on the formation of air-tight regulations against cyberattacks and money-laundering through crypto. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network intends to include third-party providers, in addition to more government agencies, and financial institutions to discuss the ransomware threat.

Safety measures may be limited to high-ranking institutions

However, attendees of the briefing displayed discontent with the elements of the conference. The creation of a new branch of the government to lead the mission against ransomware hackers was in fact never discussed. Instead, the discussion revolved around the security of businesses and critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

“Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger pointed out that there was no cybersecurity standard for private industry and that Congress would have to establish one for that to happen, the people added.”, according to Bloomberg.

No updates on REvil

REvil, allegedly a ‘Russian’ ransomware group’s recent attack on the US was not discussed in the briefing. REvil hit the US during the 4th of July holiday weekend, asking for $70 Million in Bitcoin (BTC) to provide universal decryption codes for over 200 US firms that were hacked.

The hack was followed by Biden’s warning to the Russian President Vladimir Putin against any further breaches from Russia into the US infrastructure and databases. Biden had threatened the Russian government with retaliation upon failure of curbing the Russian hackers from attacking the US.

“We have the significant cyber capability, and [Putin] knows it…If they violate these basic norms, we will respond … in a cyber way.” Biden told reporters at the press conference post his first meeting with Putin in Geneva.


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