The U.S. Treasury Departmentâ€™s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a warning that alerts financial institutions in the United States about increasing ransomware attacks against coronavirus vaccine research organizations.
US Treasury Warns of Ransomware Attacks, Phishing Schemes Targeting Covid-19 Vaccine Research Institutions
According to the alert, FinCEN says that fraud, ransomware attacks, and â€œsimilar types of criminal activityâ€ target the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, which could affect their supply chains if proper actions are not taken on time.
The alert reads as follow in regards to ransomware campaigns:
Within the attacks, the bureau states that phishing schemes are on the rise by placing misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines as bait to catch victims. The alert provides a series of steps that institutions should follow to report such incidents to FinCEN.
The warning was published the same day that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two emergency authorizations for coronavirus vaccines.
Financial Companies That Facilitate Ransomware Payments Could Face Sanctions
But the ransomware campaignsâ€™ incidents have another component that put extra weight on the financial institutionsâ€™ back. On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasuryâ€™s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released an advisory to highlight the sanctions risk associated with ransomware crypto payments.
In fact, the OFAC warns:
On December 19, 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published an alert warning private industry about incidents of harassment of victims made by ransomware gangs via telephone calls.
What are your thoughts on the alert issued by FinCEN? Let us know in the comments section below.
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