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U.S Sanctions First Bitcoin Addresses

The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has taken action against two "facilitators" of the Iranian ransomware. The actions include the publication of cryptocurrency addresses and the warning of cryptocurrency and financial communities that anyone who can negotiate with the accused could be subject to sanctions.


Involvement in SamSam Ransomware attacks

The OFAC stated that the two "Iranian individuals" are Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan. According to a US Treasury press release, today they helped to exchange Bitcoin redemption payments, obtained from "malicious Iranian cyber-actors" involved in the SamSam ransomware scheme, in Iran.

Khorashadizadeh and Ghorbaniyan are designated for:

Having materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technology support for, or goods or services in or in support of, SamSam ransomware attacks.

The OFAC has identified and published the two portfolio addresses associated with "facilitators". The addresses of the cryptocurrency collector have been processed between 6,000 and 7,000 Bitcoins (BTC) 00 transactions on 40 cryptocurrency bags. Even at today's Bitcoin price, this equates to over $ 25 million.

The United States Department of Justice has also indicted two actors for having infected more than 200 networks with SamSam ransomware in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada since 2015. An hospital in Indiana he lost all of his IT networks during storms, leading them to pay the ransom to protect patients.

The news quickly aroused a conversation on social media.

First publication of the Wallet addresses

L & # 39; OFAC says that although it usually shares "identifiers" with designated persons:

Today's action marks the first time that OFAC publicly attributes digital currency addresses to designated individuals.

Traders who recognize or find published portfolio addresses are required to comply with OFAC obligations regardless of whether transactions are conducted in digital or fiat currency:

Like traditional identifiers, these digital currency addresses should help those of compliance communities and digital currencies to identify transactions and funds that need to be blocked and investigate any connections to these addresses.

Iran considers the state cryptocurrency ahead of impending US sanctions

Any property or financial "interest" of people is now subject to OFAC sanctions and "U.S. people are generally forbidden to deal with them".

The Treasury and OFAC actions today are part of a wider series of sanctions and "the US economic pressure" aimed at Iran "designed to mitigate the broad spectrum of the regime's malign assets. Iranian government and forcing the regime to change its behavior ".

Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker warns:

The Treasury will aggressively pursue Iran and other rogue regimes attempting to exploit digital currencies and weaknesses in cyber and AML / CFT safeguards to promote their nefarious targets.

What are your thoughts on the new sanctions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images and media courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter (@msantoriESQ).

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