White House, under the leadership of US President Joe Biden, has issued a new set of guidelines for public and private entities that are dealing with ransomware. From now on, all ransomware payments will be tracked down by the cyber task force that will be led by some former military veterans and Chief’s of technology companies.
This crypto currency tracking will be besides the setup of a ransomware task force that will assist companies, federal agencies, and organizations to mitigate the repercussions experienced through ransomware attacks.
The state department will also reward all those who pass on information leading to the identity of anyone who is engaged in state funded cyber attacks. And the rewarding amount might range up to $10 million depending on the severity of the cyber incident- under Rewards for Justice Program.
The Biden government took all these additional security measures after observing the repercussions of ransomware attack on SolarWinds, JBS Meat Processor and Colonial Pipeline Cyber Attack.
Note 1- Colonial Pipeline that is the largest fuel supplier in America was targeted by Darkside ransomware in the first week of May 2021.And as per the press release by the fuel supplier, over 100 Gigabytes of data was stolen by hackers and the entire database was locked down from access with encryption.
Note 2-By May 15th,2021, Colonial Pipeline that supplies oil to states like Texas and New York had reportedly paid $5 million in Bitcoins to free up its database from encryption.
Note 3- The Department of Justice announced that the law enforcement recovered half of the amount on June 7th of this year through a joint operation conducted by FBI and UK’s NCSC and finally tracked down the attack to Russian intelligence.
Note 4- Biden administration has also launched a website named stopransomware.gov, that helps prevent the spread on file encrypting malware to businesses and state and local governments.