Will or won't paying ransom be made illegal?

20.07.2021

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Another surge of ransom attacks makes the necessity to remind how slippery the way to deal with them is if you choose to pay.

The reason for the growth of ransomware danger is in the big number of companies which tend to meet the violators’ requirements. When hackers get what they want they don’t see why they should stop.

US economy has suffered from giving away significant sums, and now the question of making such payments illegal is hanging in the air again.

Two large-scale ransom incidents cause FBI director Christopher Wray emphasise the need to discourage the attackers by not transferring them any money in a doubtful exchange for the data. Colonial Pipeline oil and gas transport network as well as JBS USA, one of the biggest meat producers, paid ransom up to $4.4 million and $11 million in June.

But this recommendation is surely not enough, according to security experts. There should be the law which would come into force and make the option of paying simply impossible for everyone. The more companies pay the more attacks they inadvertently fund, believe the specialists.

The US government managed to return almost half a sum paid by Colonial Pipeline – $2.3 million got back.

The measures taken before, including financial support for companies hit by ransomware, creating a playbook for organisations hit by ransomware, seem to be insufficient.