The BlackMatter ransomware gang, which claims to be the successor to the (nominally, maybe, possibly not) retired groups REvil and DarkSide, has hit the Iowa-based US farm services provider NEW Cooperative, Reuters and others report. NEW Cooperative, which operates grain elevators, trades crops, and provides other support to farms, says it's taken its systems offline as a precaution, and that it's working with law enforcement. BlackMatter has demanded $5.9 million in ransom, BleepingComputer says, a figure that will rise to $11.8 million if the gang isn't paid within five days. The timing is unfortunate, coming as it does at the beginning of the US grain belt's harvest.
The US Treasury Department today announced that it was taking steps to disrupt the financial structures that sustain the ransomware criminal economy. Cryptocurrency exchanges engaged in money laundering and processing ransom payments are being singled out for special attention. The first exchange to come under sanction is SUEX. As Treasury notes, most cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions are "licit"—Treasury is after the ones engaged in specifically criminal conduct.
European police have rounded up about a hundred mobsters—and these are traditional, Al-Caponesque gangsters associated with the Neapolitan Camorra—for cybercrimes including SIM-swapping, business email compromise, and the like. Most of the hoods were collared in Spain, others in Italy, the Register reports.
Indonesian authorities tell the AP that they've found no evidence in their systems of cyberespionage by China's Mustang Panda, dismissing reports to the contrary by Recorded Future's Insikt Group as "rumors."