InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 45

Ethereum, Zcash and Monero are also
frequently demanded. Although traditional
inancial institutions have their
hands tied when it comes to ransomware
payments under the money-laundering
and know-your-customer regulations,
the irst step in any ransomware attack
should be to contact the business's bank
to determine if it transfers funds to a
cryptocurrency exchange.
The attacked business then sets up an
account with one of the many cryptocurrency
exchanges-where U.S. dollars are
exchanged for digital currency.
Unfortunately, paying ransom does
not guarantee that a business will
get the decryption key or unlocking
code needed to regain access to the
infected computer system or iles.
Successful or not, the government offers
a little-noticed incentive for those who do
pay: the ransom may be tax deductible.
Taxes to the rescue
While the government warns that ransom
payments fund criminal gangs and
could encourage even more attacks,
failing to pay a ransomware demand
can have devastating consequences for
any business. Fortunately, a business
that pays ransomware may be entitled
to claim a tax deduction on its federal
tax returns.
Naturally, there are limits to the deduction.
Because there may also be insurance
payments to cover both business disruption
and the ransomware payment, if the
loss to the business is covered by insurance,
the operation can't claim a deduction
for a payment made by an insurer.
The FBI is reportedly
doubling down on its
guidance to affected
businesses and its
message remains: don't
pay the cybercriminals.
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InTents December 2021/January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December 2021/January 2022

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