Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments Summary

Updated 10/21/2021

The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently issued updated guidance to highlight the sanctions risks associated with ransomware payments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber attacks demanding ransomware payments increased significantly. OFAC issued guidance on facilitating these types of ransomware payments last year in October 2020 and has reissued this updated advisory because of the increased frequency in this type of attack. To clarify, the United States government strongly discourages private companies and citizens from paying ransom or extortion demands. It also warned that companies that facilitate these types of ransomware payments could be at risk of violating OFAC regulations.

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