FATF Countering Ransomware Financing [14 March 2023]
Ransomware attacks target individuals, businesses and government agencies across the world. The impact of these attacks can be devastating for individuals, government agencies and business activity and even disrupt essential infrastructure and services.
This FATF report analyses the methods criminals use to carry out ransomware attacks and how payments are made and laundered.
Criminals use crypto or virtual assets almost exclusively and have easy access to virtual asset service providers worldwide.
Jurisdictions with weak or non-existent AML/CFT controls are therefore of concern.
The report proposes some actions that countries can take to disrupt ransomware-related money laundering; these include
- Building on and leveraging existing international cooperation mechanisms, given the transnational nature of ransomware attacks and related laundering,
Authorities must also develop the necessary skills and tools to collect key information quickly, trace the nearly instantaneous financial transactions and recover virtual assets before they dissipate.
The multi-disciplinary nature of ransomware also means that authorities must extend their collaboration beyond their traditional counterparts to include cyber-security and data protection agencies.
The FATF also finalized a list of potential risk indicators that can help public and private sector entities identify ransomware-related suspicious activities.
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