US-Based Federal Agencies Aim to Stop Ransomware Attacks Via Bitcoin Wallet Information


Three federal agencies in the United States, namely the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State and Information Sharing and Analysis Center, have jointly issued an advisory on the information needed to stop the attacks ransomware, as reported by Cointelegraph.

According to Cointelegraph, as part of the #StopRansomware campaign, the Joint Cybersecurity Advisory informed citizens about Vice Society, which is a ransomware-based program to encrypt data and requires a ransom for decryption. The three companies expect an increase in ransomware attacks targeting educational institutions, adding that school districts with fewer cybersecurity capabilities and resources are considered vulnerable. While the measures are considered important to counter ransomware, the FBI has asked US citizens to provide the information needed to track the hackers. The type of information needed revolves around Bitcoin (BTC) wallets, ransom notes, and IP addresses connected to the attacker.

Based on information from Cointelegraph, through the use of wallet addresses, authorities can remove illegal transactions on the BTC blockchain. According to reports, the three federal agencies have discouraged Americans from paying ransoms because there is no guarantee that the victim’s files will be recovered. Now, those affected by ransomware attacks will be able to report the matter by visiting a local FBI office or through the use of official communication channels.

Additionally, Cointelegraph noted that the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office recently found cryptocurrency wallets linked to a ransomware attack against the Netherlands-based University of Maastricht (UM). In 2019, a ransomware attack froze all Unified Messaging assets, such as search data, emails, and library resources. Later, UM reached an agreement to pay the hacker’s request for 200,000 euros in BTC, which has a current valuation of nearly 500,000 euros.

Going through the Cointelegraph website, founded in 2013, it is a digital media resource covering news on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency assets and emerging trends in financial technology (fintech) .

(With information from Cointelegraph)

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