The US Treasury Department officially adds cryptocurrency addresses to a special blacklist SDN (Specially Designated National List), which is a list of people with whom US citizens are prohibited from doing business.
The US Treasury Department of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reported that the so-called “sanctions” list included residents of Iran, Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan, who are accused of intentionally using SamSam malware. Over the past few years, more than 200 corporations, including hospitals, universities and government agencies, have become their victims.
According to the Treasury Department, the attackers demanded a ransom in bitcoins in exchange for unlocking sites. OFAC claims that Khorashadizade and Gorbanyan exchanged more than 7,000 BTC, received as a ransom, for Iranian rials, carrying out transactions in the millions of US dollars. At the same time, the attackers used more than 40 cryptocurrency platforms for processing transactions.
Back in March, OFAC announced that it could add cryptocurrency addresses to its list after updating the Sanctions Compliance FAQ. The office then emphasized the fact that cryptocurrencies are comparable to fixed currencies in relation to the SDN list.
The SDN identification list includes such data as physical addresses, mailboxes, email addresses and aliases, as well as cryptocurrency addresses. Thus, the agency warns US citizens that they are prohibited from sending any funds to these two addresses.