DOJ Forms Task Force To Curb Ransomware Attack: WSJ

  • The Justice Department (DOJ) has formed a task force to curb the ransomware cyberattacks and target the digital ecosystem that supports the attacks, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin’s internal memorandum stated that the cyber threats jeopardized the safety and health of Americans, and the economy too.
  • The task force will dedicate more training and resources to improve departmental intelligence sharing and nexus detection between criminal actors and nation-states.
  • Ransomware attacks surged in 2020 during the pandemic as the world got technology-driven, security experts and U.S. officials said.
  • The hackers continue to extort heftier ransoms from victims and reinvest the profits in cyber tools for enhanced and voluminous attacks. The memo sought a strategy to target the entire criminal ecosystem around ransomware.
  • The task force will encompass the DOJ’s criminal, national security, civil divisions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Executive Office. It will also boost alliance with the private sector, international partners, and other federal agencies like the Treasury and Homeland Security departments.
  • Carlin was supervising the task force. Lisa Monaco became the deputy attorney general on Tuesday.
  • An upsurge in ransomware attacks during the beginning of the coronavirus hospitalizations disrupted operations and patient care at several hospitals. The task force would study and make recommendations on how to address that tension, stated Carlin.
  • Carlin said the task force would attempt to discover advanced uses of legal authorities to protect victims ahead of an attack.
  • Last week, the DOJ revealed that the FBI’s computer networks were still susceptible to the recent Microsoft Corp MSFT Exchange Server attack and could attract ransomware.
  • Security companies have acknowledged the recent rise in the average size of ransoms reaching billions of dollars.
  • Carlin witnessed ransomware payments of over $20 million while serving as a law firm partner.
  • Carlin told WSJ that companies surrendered to the attacks to save ten to twenty times the ransom amount.

Posted In: NewsTechMediaBriefsransomwareU.S. Department of Justice