The Biden administration plans to counter the use of cryptocurrencies during ransomware attacks by imposing sanctions.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury plans to hit unnamed targets with sanctions as soon as next week, rather than disabling entire sections of the blockchain infrastructure where fraud is suspected to occur, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The department also plans to release a new set of guidelines advising businesses about the risks involved in making ransomware payments.
At a White House briefing earlier this month, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies Anne Neuberger said that Americans and businesses must take active steps to prevent being victimized, even as the state rolls out regulations.
“We continue to see successful attacks occurring against vulnerabilities for which there are patches, so we want to use the opportunity of this pressroom and the attention that it gets to ask Americans, to ask organizations, to [take] the steps they need to… be safe online, even as the government focuses on its efforts.”
In July, the Biden administration announced it would more rigorously trace crypto payments made to hackers after major meat supplier JBS and Colonial Pipeline were scammed out of millions of dollars.
These regulatory actions come on the heels of a poll that showed most American cryptocurrency owners suport government regulation as a means to combat ransomware attacks.
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