Wednesday, May 18, 2022

DOJ to give Ransomware the same priority as terrorism

The Justice Department will increase investigations into ransomware to a level of priority similar to terrorism in an effort to defeat cybercriminals who threaten the country.

This comes after several recent cyberattacks that paralyzed infrastructure and paralyzed major industries in the United States. In one of the attacks, a cybercrime group carried out a ransom hack against the Colonial Pipeline, halting fuel operations leading to guest shortages in various states.

The department said it had recently set up a task force in Washington that would coordinate all investigations into the ransomware currently being handled by U.S. law firms across the country.

“It’s a specialized process to ensure that we detect all cases of ransomware, no matter where it is referred to in this country, so that you can make the connection between actors and you can build up to disrupt the whole chain,” said John Carlin , Chief Associate Deputy Advocate. general at the department, told Reuters.

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Reuters, which has reviewed the internal guidance on the new direction, reported that the centralized investigation of the investigations will help the federal authorities to build a “comprehensive picture of the national and economic security threats we face” and the draw necessary connections between separate attacks.

The model has been used in terrorism cases, according to the department, but never before with ransomware, Carlin said. The guideline also asked U.S. attorneys to share information on other cyber-security cases, such as cases against antivirus services, illegal online forums or markets, cryptocurrency exchanges, bulletproof hosting services, botnets, and online laundering services, the news thread reported.

“We really want to make sure that prosecutors and criminal investigators report and monitor it … cryptocurrency exchanges, illegal online forums or marketplaces where people sell hacking aids, access vouchers for networks – which follow the botnets that serve multiple purposes,” Carlin said. .

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The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Colonial Pipeline paid $ 4.4 million to ransomware attackers to regain access, the company said. Operations managers acknowledged that the decision was controversial, but said they believed it was the right thing to do, as the company was uncertain about the severity of the cyber attack on the company’s systems.

The world’s largest meat supplier JBS was also targeted for a separate ransomware attack this week. The attack disrupted meat production in North America and Australia. The FBI has since linked the attack to a Russia-linked burglary group REvil, also known as Sodinokibi.

“We have attributed the JBS attack to REvil and Sodinokibi and are working diligently to bring the threatening actors to justice,” the FBI said. said in a statement. “We continue to focus on imposing risks and consequences and holding accountable cyber actors accountable.”

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Nation World News Desk
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