US to treat Ransomware on par with Terrorism

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Joe Biden-led United States has decided to treat Ransomware spread on par with Terrorism and is urging victims not to pay any ransom to hackers. In a Media briefing issued to Reuters, Jennifer Granholm, the US Energy Secretary stated that all federal units will now be put on high alert against any kind of file-encrypting malware attacks.

Jennifer reiterated a fact that private and public entities in North America are operating under the pressure of bolstering up their defense against cyber attacks and added that the power sector needs immediate attention from the government in this regard.

Supporting her words was John Carlin, the deputy attorney general of the Department of Justice.

John asserts that all ransomware attacks should be investigated with a similar urgency as incidences of terrorism. And as per his perspective, this can only happen when companies start sharing threat information with the government that helps in warning other entities about the approaching threats and the proactive measures to be taken to avoid any untoward.

The recent Colonial Pipeline hack seems to be acting as a prime example for the officials to issue such alerts related to the growing threats regarding ransomware and double extortion cases.

Now, to those uninitiated, Colonial paid $4.4 million in BTC to free up its data from ransomware and this was done despite repeated warnings by the government not to pay any ransom to hackers as it not only encourages the criminals to target the same organizations N number of times in future but also doesn’t guarantee a decryption key in return for sure.

What if the government formulates a law that bans ransomware payments to hackers? It makes sense, isn’t it?

Perhaps it’s time for Congress to think on this aspect!

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security