Moscow's tallest skyscraper is home to ransomware gangs that have stolen millions from U.S. firms and hospitals.
The Biden administration has also zeroed in on the building, Federation Tower East, the tallest skyscraper in the Russian capital. The United States has targeted several companies in the tower as it seeks to penalize Russian ransomware gangs, which encrypt their victims’ digital data and then demand payments to unscramble it.
Those payments are typically made in cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies like Bitcoin, which the gangs then need to convert to standard currencies, like dollars, euros and rubles.
That this high-rise in Moscow’s financial district has emerged as an apparent hub of such money laundering has convinced many security experts that the Russian authorities tolerate ransomware operators. The targets are almost exclusively outside Russia, they point out, and in at least one case documented in a U.S. sanctions announcement, the suspect was assisting a Russian espionage agency.
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