Two U.S. Senators, Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mark Warner (D-VA), have weighed in on cryptocurrency’s role in ransomware on the latest episode of “Meet the Press,” calling for strengthening regulations.
Warner says that the debate about crypto and ransomware is “just starting”:
We’ve gotten better on bipartisan legislation last year, but this debate about crypto and ransomware is just starting.
While acknowledging “some good things” that come out of crypto, he also noted that ransomware was its “dark underbelly”:
The truth is there are ways that we can break through some of these systems, but if we don’t have a trans — if a company is paying, if there’s not some transparency of that payment, the bad guys will simply find another way to hide it.
Blunt added that crypto didn’t have to be hidden “behind the scenes,” referring to the anonymous nature of transactions.
A wave of ransomware attacks
Earlier this week, JBS, the largest meat supplier in the world, experienced a crippling ransomware attack.
This came after the Colonial Pipeline hack caused fuel shortages after disrupting the supply chain. The company was forced to pay a $5 million ransom in crypto.
Bitcoin was made the scapegoat for the cybersecurity failures, with a recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal calling for a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies to fight ransomware.
The Biden administration is currently focused on probing the role of crypto in recent ransomware attacks.