But the situation is not as hopeless as it seems. Crucial to any successful ransomware scheme is collecting the ransom in pseudo-anonymous cryptocurrency, typically bitcoin. Stop the flow of bitcoin and ransomware attackers will have no means to anonymously, conveniently, expeditiously and securely collect their extortion demand. But how?The answer is simple. By using the effective and novel prosecutorial tactic known as access theory, President-elect Biden can initiate a 2021 prosecutorial offensive to stop ransomware. Access theory involves targeting the conduits and go-betweens, such as cryptocurrency financial platforms, custodian and wallet services and other intermediaries, that criminals use: 1) to trade and convert the bitcoin (and any other cryptocurrency) extorted from ransomware victims; and 2) to use to hide and launder ill-gotten gains.
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