Don’t ignore ransomware. This is bad.

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Ransomware attacks can be catastrophic and are getting worse.

For this form of cybercrime, Hackers breaking into computer networks Lock digital information until the victim pays for the release. Hospitals that have become dysfunctional due to ransomware attacks Keep the patient away,and Natural gas pipeline forced offline Two days last year.

My colleague Nicole Pair Roth I’ve been recording for years Rapid increase in cyber attacks, Including ransomware. She told me about the steps the US government and individual organizations can take to prevent it better. Nicole tried to hope, but was disappointed with the root cause of the ransomware. The United States has not been able to invest in that defense.

White: Are ransomware attacks becoming more common or do they look like that?

Nicole: It got worse. We’ve seen a surge in attacks, targeting more types of organizations, and ransoms of tens of millions of dollars. And ransomware gangs are attacking us in more visceral ways than ever before.

The pandemic made things worse. Companies, schools, and other organizations needed to deal with virtually working employees. It created more opportunities for criminals.

Ransomware gangsters attacked in the last few months in the United States Large companies, school And University, Local government, hospital And that police.. And they are becoming more and more brave.A relatively new twist is a criminal Threaten to release Your organization’s data will be public if you don’t pay.

What are the consequences of a ransomware attack?

Recently targeted criminals Florida police station Leaked record containing a folder labeled “dead” containing photos of the bodies of crime scenes.

The worst thing I’ve seen University of Vermont Medical Center.. The hospital was unable to treat some chemotherapy patients as the attack wiped out their records. Nurses said it was one of the worst experiences in their career.

Can anyone justify hurting a cancer patient or leaking a photo of a dead person?

There are no words that can be printed in family newspapers.

What is the United States doing to stop or slow down ransomware?

I’m not doing my best. The United States is the country most targeted by cybercriminals and nation-states, but we do not behave that way. We primarily outline guidelines for businesses and government agencies to prevent ransomware attacks and expect the best. It’s not working.

What should I do instead?

There is no silver bullet, but there are some steps that can help. The US government may designate ransomware as a national security threat equivalent to terrorism. This will devote more information resources to fighting ransomware. Countries that are safe havens for ransomware gangs, such as Russia, may be subject to sanctions or restrictions on travel to the United States. It will pressure countries to track ransomware criminals within the border.

You can also request companies and government agencies that have been hit by ransomware attacks to make them public. The Treasury can consider banning victims from paying the ransom. Most ransomware gangs require Bitcoin payments, and the banking industry saysKnow your customersThe rules and anti-money laundering laws have been enforced on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Also, ransomware victims need a 911 type hotline. Organizations often do not know who to call when targeted.

What can an organization targeted by a ransomware attack do to prevent a ransomware attack?

When a company, government agency, or organization requires all employees and others who have access to a computer network to use it. Strong password, Password manager And Multi-step authentication, Greatly helps prevent cyber attacks.

It’s also useful if your organization has a copy of your digital records and needs to back them up on a regular basis. Victims are not in a position to pay to recover their data. Governments can also create tax credits and other financial incentives for businesses and agencies to take these steps.

I don’t want to blame the victims, but why aren’t businesses and public institutions taking these safeguards?

Many important services are run by small organizations that do not have the resources or capabilities to do even the basics. American hospitals, schools, and governments are common ransomware targets because they tend to use older software with irreparable security holes.

This is tough.

I don’t want people to feel despair. But yes, ransomware and other cyberattacks only get worse. The central issue is the urgency and lack of investment to protect digital systems.

  • Beijing has the potential to become the ultimate arbitrator in its technology industry. China is trying to force major tech companies to change what they consider to be anti-competitive.Instead, Chinese internet companies are taking advantage of the threat of government behavior to defeat their rivals, my colleague Li Feng I have written In her latest column. She said it could further strengthen the Communist Party’s authority over China’s digital industry.

  • His menacing rant was illegal: A New York jury posted an online threat to Congressmen, but a man who took no action on them concluded. Was not protected by the First Amendment, My colleague Nicole Hong reported.At OnTech last week, Nicole said this case The line between hateful freedom of expression and illegal threats.

  • Big Tech Big Money: Apple And Facebook I’ve made a lot of money this year. And Amazon, which continues to hire, Raise the hourly wage For about 500,000 workers.

Played by a cellist Concert for music-loving cows (And humans) in a village near Copenhagen. Cows didn’t seem to like Dvorak.

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Don’t ignore ransomware. This is bad.

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