Lawmakers are looking at how to address the ransomware threat


Separate ransomware attacks have destroyed the computer systems of more than half a dozen French hospitals, forcing them to reuse pencil and paper – Copyright AFP Philippe DESMAZES

In the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching a working group dedicated to tackling the growing threat of ransomware. According to a new survey that explores security issues, the Unisys Security Index ™, then less than one in three (31%) of American citizens are concerned about the security of their data while working from home during the global health crisis of COVID-19.

In addition, the survey reveals that general Internet security concerns (including computer viruses and hacking) have dropped 13 points since 2019, despite a significant increase in cyberattacks in 2020. This is at a time of increasing of online activity due to remote work and online shopping during the pandemic.

The Unisys Security Index surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, including more than 1,000 in the US

This figure does not match the increased cyber threats, both individually and organizationally. The main thing is the expensive ransomware crash. These attacks include high-profile network security incidents such as the Russian-backed SolarWinds piracy campaign and the Microsoft Exchange server vulnerabilities that Microsoft has attributed to Chinese hackers.

In relation to this important measure, explains Tom Patterson, trusted general manager of Unisys Digital newspaper, why this ethical and legal deliberation is so important.

Patterson explains, “The Justice Department has an important role to play in the nation’s entire defense against ransomware and other attacks.”

This is necessary, above all, due to the extent of the attacks that are taking place worldwide. Here Patterson adds: “Ransomware is being launched with impunity by criminals around the world and more needs to be done to change the economy of the attack, to make it more costly to attack than to defend. The legal system of Justice has to its provision a wide range of capabilities to add costs and consequences to those who choose to attack. “

As to how things are unfolding, Patterson adds that: “The White House Cyber ​​Moonshot report and the Cyber ​​Solarium of Congress have recommended increasing the consequences for those who launch and support the attacks. , and the DoJ has a myriad of arrows consistent in its height, which it can bring to light. “

So what can be achieved through legal review? According to Patterson: “By creating this working group together with experts in national security, law enforcement and the private sector, the department addresses this critical issue in the right way.”

Patterson remains optimistic and states: “Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin is perfectly placed to lead this new working group with its strong roots in both the capabilities of the department and the private sector that is being attacked.”

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