Advisories by FinCEN, OFAC seek to combat rising incidence of ransomware, effect on business

Assisting U.S. individuals and businesses in efforts to combat the increasing incidence of ransomware scams and attacks is the aim of a pair of advisories issued Thursday by the Treasury Department.

The advisories were released in conjunction with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which began Thursday.

The advisories, issued by Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), look at two issues. The advisory from the first agency (FinCEN), “Advisory on Ransomware and the Use of the Financial System,” provides information on the role of financial intermediaries in payments, ransomware trends and typologies, and related financial red flags. It also provides information on effectively reporting and sharing information related to ransomware attacks, according to Treasury.

The advisory from the second agency (OFAC), “Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments,” highlights the sanctions risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments on behalf of victims targeted by malicious cyber-enabled activities, Treasury said.

“Efforts to detect and report ransomware payments are vital to prevent and deter cyber actors from deploying malicious software to extort individuals and businesses, and to hold ransomware attackers accountable for their crimes,” Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury Department Issues Ransomware Advisories to Increase Awareness and Thwart Attacks