Second FinCEN Exchange on Ransomware to Take Place in August

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On July 15, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced it will convene a FinCEN Exchange in August 2021 with representatives from financial institutions, other key industry stakeholders, and federal government agencies to discuss ongoing concerns regarding ransomware, as well as efforts by the public and private sectors. The FinCEN Exchange will build upon FinCEN’s November 2020 event on ransomware.  FinCEN anticipates that this FinCEN Exchange will assist its government and private sector partners to inform next steps to address ransomware and focus resources to mitigate the threat.  This announcement is part of a whole-of-government effort to combat ransomware.

“As the past few months have demonstrated, the surge in ransomware attacks threatens our critical infrastructure, municipalities and the most vulnerable among us and is increasingly impacting the lives of the American people,” said FinCEN’s Acting Director Michael Mosier.  “Since this extortion threatens our collective safety, it is critical that we collaboratively gather to confront this threat together and determine the best way to increase our collective resilience to these malicious attacks.” 

Ransomware attacks are a growing concern for the financial sector, given that financial institutions can be targeted by ransomware attacks as well as reputational and financial integrity concerns about the role financial institutions might play in the processing of ransom payments.  Efforts to detect and report ransomware payments are vital to prevent and deter ransomware attacks, and to hold these attackers accountable for their crimes.  In October 2020, FinCEN issued an advisory to alert financial institutions to predominant trends, typologies, and potential indicators of ransomware and associated money laundering activities.  In addition, in June 2021, FinCEN highlighted ransomware as a particularly acute cybercrime concern in its issuance of the first government-wide priorities for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism policy.

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