Prosecution for Paying Ransomware? A Possible Method to Ending Attacks

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Thursday, October 1st, 2020  |  No Comments
Prsoecution

If at all possible, it’s generally advised that a ransomware demand not be paid.

The reasons for this are clear, not only is it a risk that once paid the attackers might still release your data into the ethernet, but once the money is handed over, the ransomware gang now has funds for its next espionage campaign. This will begin a vicious cycle that only encourages these groups to continue.

In the short term, paying up may save you a headache, but in the long term it could mean devastation for your financial institution, education system, or healthcare system. That headache you avoided is now the near-fatal diagnosis you didn’t expected.

The UK’s former head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Ciaran Martin, spoke earlier this month at security think tank RUSI and “explained just how big a problem the agency considers ransomware to be.”

Martin is of the belief that ransoms should be harder, or maybe even illegal to pay.

His reasoning is that a major incident or “ransomware attack on an important service,” could result in national and physical harm. He’s not mistaken either, as just recently in Germany a ransomware attack on a hospital resulted in a patient’s death.

“Criminal ransomware used recklessly by amoral criminals is one of the biggest but least discussed scourges of the modern internet,” Martin explains.

If given the opportunity to combat this threat, he would ask for a serious examination of whether we should change the law to make it illegal for organizations in the UK to pay ransoms in the case of ransomware.” If this idea is not well received, Martin suggests “we should think of something else to counter ransomware, because it’s the single biggest contemporary scourge in cyberspace right now.”

And it really is, on a consistent incline and the single most lucrative cyber-attack consistently attempted and consistently successful.

It has become so successful because half of the companies hit by ransomware pay to decrypt their files, and it’s “a major source of revenue for sophisticated criminal gangs. Some versions of ransomware have raked in tens of millions in ransom, usually in the form of hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.”

Many victims feel as If they don’t have a choice but to pay when experiencing a ransomware attack, to some they are just a cost of doing business. However, if it was made illegal to comply to these attacks, businesses would likely invest in superior quality systems to prevent them in the first place. Police may also be more inclined to track down and prosecute the gangs responsible.

Looking for bigger and better ways to ensure a ransomware attack doesn’t devastate your business? Call Darkhound Security today for a free cybersecurity assessment (714) 266-3790.

-Emmy Seigler

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ransomware-is-the-biggest-problem-on-the-web-this-big-change-could-be-the-answer/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=28837826891618282212917048574090&mid=13076371&cid=2176732464

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Samantha Keller
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