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09/21/2021
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The Treasury Department sanctions a Russian crypto service over ransomware funds. A close look at the push for CISA to become the government’s premier cyber agency. And another food supplier is breached. This is CyberScoop for September 21, 2021.

Cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges aiding hackers

The Treasury Department announced sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange SUEX for working with illicit funds gained by ransomware hacking. It's the first time the agency has sanctioned a cryptocurrency exchange for aiding ransomware actors, but it almost certainly won't be the last. The Treasury Department will continue to go after exchanges with high rates of illicit transactions, said Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary. The government also released new guidance doubling down on advice to victims to not pay hackers, and instead immediately notify law enforcement. Tonya Riley has the news.


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CISA's momentum in Congress

CISA is in line for big budget boosts and increased authorities this year from Capitol Hill. The $2 billion agency already has $650 million extra earlier this year, and could get another potential $1.2 billion combined that two House committees have advanced. It also could pay a bigger role under legislation on critical infrastructure companies reporting major incidents to the federal government and more. It's a sign of lawmakers' belief in the agency, some say, but it's not clear all the ideas will come to fruition — and if they do, whether they'll be enough or cause problems by coming all at once. Tim Starks breaks it down.


Food sector takes another ransomware blow

The BlackMatter ransomware gang hit New Cooperative, an Iowa agricultural business that took its systems offline in response. It's the second high-profile ransom attack on a food supplier in recent months, following the REvil attack on JBS this summer. New Cooperative, during negotiations posted online, contended that BlackMatter was attacking critical infrastructure in violation of its principles, but the argument fell on deaf ears. Tim has this one, too.


Congress pushes the FTC to create new privacy rules

Nine Senate Democrats urged the FTC Monday to kick off rulemaking to create new data privacy protections for consumers. The Senators say that the current process should work alongside Congress' long ongoing efforts to pass a federal privacy law. The letter comes in response to frustrations that the FTC’s current rules against unfair and deceptive practices have proven ineffective to take on major privacy violations and data breaches by technology companies. Tonya has more details.


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