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US Government Blacklisted a Russia-based Crypto Exchange for the First Time

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Pavan A Follow


Sep, 23 2021

Sep, 23 2021

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The Department of theTreasury announced on Tuesday, September 21 that they are adding Suex.io to itslist of specially designated nationals (SDN). It's alleged that the companyfacilitates transactions related to ransomware. 

The US government hassanctioned a cryptocurrency exchange for the first time to reduce cyberattacks.US officials imposed sanctions against a digital currency exchange incoordination with the FBI.

Treasury Department's datahas shown that over 40% of Russia-based Suex's transactions are linked to knownmalicious actors. This indicates they are critical to the profitability ofransomware attacks, which help fund additional cybercrime.

The officials have foundthat some exchanges are being exploited by illicit actors who are using themfor illicit transactions. However, not all of them are working with these kindsof groups.

The Treasury Departmentstated: "As a result of today's designation, all property and interests inproperty of the designated target that are subject to US jurisdiction areblocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactionswith them. Additionally, any entities 50% or more owned by one or moredesignated persons are also blocked." 

In the case of financialinstitutions and other entities engaging in transactions or activities with thesanctioned entities and individuals, "they may expose themselves tosanctions or be subject to enforcement action," US Treasury Departmentsaid.

They clarified the actionagainst Suex does not implicate any link to particular Ransomware-as-a-Service(RaaS) or variants.

Also Read | Global Investment Bank Launches New Crypto Research Team

Suex is based in the CzechRepublic but operated in Russia. The Russian cryptocurrency exchange wasfounded by Vasilii Zhabykin.

According to the TRMinvestigation, which summarizes that Suex began operating under thecorporate ownership of Izibits OU. This is a company licensed to operate inEstonia.

TRM’s report claims thatthe executive Vasilii Zhabykin of the exchange may have possible links to aRussian telecom company and the Czech venture capital firm Tibor Bokor.

Even though the TreasuryDepartment did not identify any specific attacks, they did mention thatcryptocurrency payments made by victims of ransomware attacks went through theexchange.

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Pavan A

CBW - External Analyst


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