Cybersecurity Officials Warns of More Frequent, Aggressive Ransomware Attacks

"Data Security Breach" (CC BY 2.0) by Blogtrepreneur

On Wednesday, top cybersecurity officials issued a somber warning to Americans.

This warning reveals that the nation can expect more ransomware attacks following struggles from the recent advances on U.S. interests, including fuel and meat supplies. 

Critical Updates from Leading Cybersecurity Officials

The head of Threat Hunting for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Chris Butera, stated that the ransomware attack “continued to increase.” This maintains particularly in our local governments and critical instructor space. 

During a virtual summit Wednesday, Butera also mentioned that the people behind these ransomware attacks have grown more brazen. He added that they have started to exfiltrate information and attempt to extort payments.

Butera said that he does think these actions will continue to happen.

In the past few weeks, cyberattacks have been frequently targeting American interests. In the most recent event, JBS had to shut down a meat plant in the country with affiliations to the world’s largest meatpacker.

Butera added that the administration does not encourage companies to pay the ransoms in these attacks. However, he added that the administration “understands” if these companies do provide ransoms.

Later, he explained that they know this is an important and difficult decision for some of these companies to make….especially when placed under the gun while trying to run business operations.

Biden’s attitude towards ransomware attacks, the same as how he handles terrorist groups

The Biden administration’s attitude on handling ransomware attacks is the same as its attitude when it comes to paying ransoms to terrorist groups or any criminal. 

“V20210329LJ-0406” (United States government work) by The White House

Klon Kitchen, an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident fellow, told Fox News that Biden’s attitude towards this type of issue is a continuation of American policy. He added that they have always urged companies not to pay ransoms since it encourages more attacks. 

Klon Kitchen also noted the consequences that these companies encounter when they face ransomware attacks. These consequences include high financial losses and disastrous shortages for consumers.

However, Kitchen pointed out that there are two major problems that come to the surface whenever ransoms are paid. According to him, there is no assurance that the attackers will unlock what they are holding against the company once the payment is given.

Secondly, the payment will also set a pattern which could encourage other ransomware criminals to engage in the same act. 

The AEI resident fellow also urged that the country needs to directly engage with these ransomware attacks.

The White House attributed the recent ransomware attacks to criminal organizations in Russia. This includes the attack on the East Coast’s Colonial Pipeline as well as JBS. 

On June 16, during the summit in Geneva, Biden is expected to talk about these ransomware attacks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. However, Biden has mentioned that Russia has no connection with these cyberattacks. 

Kitchen said that it is now time for the U.S. to confront and dismantle these ransomware criminals.

He added that if Biden does not confront Putin about these ransomware groups committing crimes within Russia, Biden will be failing in his duty to defend the country from these types of crimes.