- A rural electric utility company, a children’s hospital, and others are among the sanctions.
- The suspected attackers and their firms have been added to OFAC’s sanctions list.
A ransomware gang linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been sanctioned by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which has also blacklisted the related Bitcoin wallet addresses.
The agency claims that the newly sanctioned people and organizations were involved in coordinated ransomware operations against a wide range of U.S.-based enterprises and organizations dating back to at least 2020.
Hackers use ransomware to lock down a computer or network remotely by taking advantage of security holes in the program, and then they hold users hostage until they pay a ransom. Most of the time, these are paid in cryptocurrency, which, despite the open nature of blockchain networks like Bitcoin, makes it harder to monitor than traditional forms of digital payment.
Criminal Charges As Well
A rural electric utility company, a children’s hospital, and other companies are among the Treasury’s alleged targets of the Iranian group’s alleged activities in the United States. It has been determined that the people in question are either current or former employees of Najee Technology Hooshmand Fater LLC and Afkar System Yazd Company.
The suspected attackers and their firms have been added to OFAC’s sanctions list, making it illegal for American people and businesses to do business with them. This contains Bitcoin wallet addresses linked to the identities of the purported owners.
The Treasury Department announced that in addition to the OFAC sanctions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has filed criminal charges against three of the individuals involved in the ransomware attack. This comes after the Treasury in August decided to blacklist Tornado Cash, an Ethereum currency mixing tool created to hide the flow of crypto assets.
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