CyberNews Briefs

US Government Unlikely to Ban Ransomware Payments

Despite controversy over whether businesses and organizations who fall victim to ransomware should meet criminals’ demands, the US government is likely to make it illegal for victims of ransomware attacks to pay the ransom. According to the US Department of Justice, banning this act will only wreak further havoc. Oftentimes, organizations who are targeted by ransomware gangs eventually end up forfeiting millions of dollars to obtain access to decryption keys that restore sensitive data and prevent it from being released on leak sites. Although the government does not recommend that companies pay ransoms due to the fact that it does not guarantee restored access to data, Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division claims that companies should always have the option to do so.

According to Vorndran, if you ban ransomware payments, US companies will be at risk for different forms of extortion such as blackmailing. Although the topic is complicated, banning ransomware payment is not a viable option according to Vorndran. The issue has been a hot topic over the past several months as ransomware attacks have cost US and Western European companies billions of dollars over the past few years. Recently, several large US corporations paid ransom demands in the millions to restore data, including Kaseya, JBS, and Colonial Pipeline.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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