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09/22/2021
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Unpacking those sanctions against a Russian crypto firm, and whether the plan will work. The British government exposed data about Afghan interpreters. And why don't schools track ransomware attacks? This is CyberScoop for September 22, 2021.

What’s next for cryptocurrency sanctions?

Chainalysis revealed that Suex, the cryptocurrency exchange sanctioned by U.S. Treasury, was a major player in funneling illicit funds for hackers. The exchange has received over $160 million from ransomware actors and other cybercriminals, according to the crypto analysis firm. That's not all: Multiple Suex deposit addresses were included in a group of just 273 addresses identified by Chainalysis as receiving 55% of all illicit funds in 2020. The move could now effect the wider cryptocurrency industry. “The cryptocurrency financial system is extraordinarily networked,” said Michael Phillips, chief claims officer at Resilience. "So sanctioning those bad actors puts pressure on actors who may be operating in a grayer space, who may be inclined to start to invest in compliance if they know they have to do it." Tonya Riley has more.


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Senate chairman isn't happy with FBI over Kaseya key

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., reprimanded the FBI on Tuesday over a report that the bureau withheld a decryption key for weeks from victims of the Kaseya ransomware incident. "The FBI's actions may have cost millions of dollars and possibly even more than that," he said. FBI Director Christopher Wray, while saying he couldn't comment specifically on the Washington Post bombshell, said that, "Sometimes we have to make calculations about how to help the most people." Read the original report.


UK exposed email addresses belonging to Afghan interpreters

British government officials apologized after the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense exposed data about Afghan interpreters who worked with British troops in the Middle East, a slip that could have exposed the identities of people who are at risk of harassment and death. Email addresses belonging to more than 250 people who sought a move to the U.K. were exposed when a British defense official copied all the addresses in a single message, the BBC first reported. Email recipients could have opened the message to view the other names, and access profile pictures associated with interpreters. Jeff Stone has the latest.


Why aren't schools required to report ransomware?

According to Emsisoft, 58 schools and school districts have publicly reported ransomware attacks in 2021, but we know this is only a fraction of the actual figure. Public officials and industry experts acknowledge that the rise in attacks is a national crisis, yet most schools are still not required to report ransomware — why? Earlier this year the ransomware research team at Recorded Future, where columnist Allan Liska works as an intelligence analyst, submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the education departments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, looking to see if they had information about ransomware attacks against schools in their states occurring between Jan. 1 and July 31 of 2021. Almost none of them did. Read Liska's column here.


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