Biden prepares sanctions to disrupt crypto ransomware payments: 7 details 

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President Joe Biden is preparing a slew of actions, including sanctions, to stop hackers from being paid ransoms using digital currency platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 17. 

Seven details: 

1. The Treasury Department plans to impose the sanctions next week, people familiar with the situation told the Journal, adding that the department will publish new guidance for businesses on the risks tied to facilitating ransomware payments, such as fines and other penalties. 

2. The Treasury Department declined the Journal's comment request, and the people familiar with the matter would not disclose the targets of the sanctions. 

3. The sanctions are expected to focus on specific targets instead of affecting the entire crypto infrastructure, where ransomware payments are expected to take place. 

4. To stop illegal crypto transactions, the Treasury Department would need to target the digital wallets that receive ransom transactions, the crypto platforms that help exchange sets of blockchain coins and the people who own or manage those operations, crypto transaction analysts told the publication. 

5. Any sanctions the Biden administration imposes would "most likely be designed to go after those illicit actors themselves, not cryptocurrency or the technology itself, which is simply the payment mechanism," Ari Redbord, a former Treasury Department security official, told the Journal

6. The Treasury Department also is creating new reporting requirements for international cryptocurrency transactions and for transactions done outside of central exchanges. 

7. Ransomware attacks have been increasing across all U.S. industries, including healthcare. National Cyber Director Chris Inglis recently told CyberScoop that while the U.S. discourages companies from paying ransoms, hospitals may have no choice when they are under attack since the disruptions affect hospitals' ability to deliver patient care. 

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