Washington 0
28 November 2018

The Treasury Department designated "two Iran-based individuals... who helped exchange digital currency (bitcoin) ransom payments into Iranian rial on behalf of Iranian malicious cyber actors". A senior official remarked that "as Iran becomes increasingly isolated and desperate for access to U.S. dollars, it is vital that virtual currency exchanges, peer-to-peer exchanges and other providers of digital currency services harden their network against these illicit schemes". "Treasury", she added, "will aggressively pursue Iran and other rogue regimes attempting to exploit digital currencies and weaknesses in cyber and AMF/CFT safeguards to further their nefarious objectives". In a related development, the Justice Department indicted two Iranians for their role in an "international computer hacking and extortion scheme involving the deployment of sophisticated ransomware". 

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.