COVID-19 Update: Please note that we are all working remotely and our hours remain unchanged at 8.30a- 5p CT. As always, taking care of our clients remains our top priority. Our phone number is 312-645-1200 and email remains the fastest way to reach us although all calls will be returned by the end of day should you leave a message because no one is available to answer. For more information and resources, see our Latest Insights.

Call Us 312.645.1200

Cyber Ransoms prohibited to Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN)

December 11, 2020

Your chief information officer breathes a sigh of relief because a significant cyber liability policy is placed. Then on October 1, 2020 the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory prohibiting ransomware payments to any person on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN).  Some of the most notable ransomware in the past few years, Cryptolocker, SamSam, WannaCry and  Dridex are attributed to criminals from embargoed countries like Crimea, North Korea, Iran and Syria.

What does this mean?

  1. Permission to pay a ransom must be requested of OFAC  with the “presumption of denial”.  This means companies should expect OFAC to say no.
  2. The burden of prevention of a cyber is even higher and companies must increase employee training, prevent areas of vulnerability, implement multi-factor authentication, and be vigilant in the monitoring of email, web and network activity.

Read more from the D&O Diary.