U.S. Offers Reward Up to $10 Million to Help Halt or Punish Ransomware Attackers

The current administration is stepping up in a big way to combat ransomware attacks in the U.S., a growing problem nationwide that is affecting every industry and every business size. The State Department is launching a program that will offer rewards of up to $10 million for individuals that can provide information to help punish or stop hackers from attacking businesses and vital U.S. industries. You can read about the full initiative in the article here

The anti-ransomware program is very similar to the current administration’s anti-terrorism program, Rewards for Justice, which aims to fight against international terrorism. Comparing ransomware to terrorism, the Biden administration has already come out to say that it ranks ransomware threats equal to threats of terrorism when it comes to ranking national security threats. This latest incentive program by the administration puts some money where their mouth is. 

What else is the Biden administration doing to combat ransomware? 

Its strategy is three-part: 

  1. The strategy urges international efforts and cooperation in the fight against ransomware as the threat affects all nations around the globe.
  2. The strategy makes it more challenging for ransomware gangs to transfer funds in cryptocurrency, often the chosen ransom payment form.
  3. The strategy helps vital U.S. industries and companies to build resilience against future hacking efforts.

Will this strategy work?

The strategy is groundbreaking, but it is a concerted effort to solve a growing ransomware crisis in the United States and globally. That said, don’t expect the strategy to work right away. The ransomware problem has far outpaced any solution, so it will likely take some time to catch up and contain the issue. As the crisis grows, so do the number of players (i.e., hackers) in the game. With more hackers attempting ransomware attacks, it isn’t easy to catch up to growing technology and efforts in the arena. The ransomware crisis has been growing at an increasing rate for years, so it will take time for the Biden administration’s strategy to catch up, if it ever does.

Many components of the strategy are still unclear, including the exact punishment for ransomware hackers that are caught. Hopefully, the administration will clarify this as they continue to build out their strategy in response to the ransomware crisis.

While some components are unclear, other definitive strides have been made. For instance, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently launched a new resource website which can be found at: www.stopransomware.gov

PK Tech Takeaways: 

  1. It’s about time that the government takes action as the ransomware crisis continues to spin out of control. We are hopeful that the administration has the right people to combat this crisis affecting all industries in the U.S. Any strategy is better than no strategy. It is a strategy that will need constant additions and modifications to be successful.
  2. Make sure your business is doing its part to combat ransomware. Take your cybersecurity seriously: invest in a qualified managed IT service provider, spend time on employee cybersecurity training, and make sure you install proper anti-malware software. If you have questions about what your business should be doing to protect itself during the current ransomware crisis, please ask us.

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