Ransomware – a burgeoning geopolitical weapon?
Today, ransomware is treated mostly as a criminal problem, but there is an argument to be made for treating it as a geopolitical issue too. As such a cheap and easy way to steal money from large businesses, it’s no wonder that the CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre called it “the most immediate danger to the UK.” Put simply – it works – and we see it’s already working so well against businesses, that it could also become a tool with which to extract concessions from powerful countries. Ransomware affects organizations of all sizes, and in all sectors. The attackers range from low skilled cybercriminals renting the necessary malicious code and tools, to sophisticated, well-resourced groups that can be nation-state-tolerated if not actively nation-state-supported. And unsurprisingly, most attackers take full advantage of a connected, online world to launch their attacks across borders, far beyond the reach of their victims’ national authorities and law enforcement.
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