The United States has started taking active steps towards putting an end to the menace of ransomware attacks.
According to a Bloomberg report on Thursday, US authorities would set up a task force not only to curb such attacks but also trace ransoms cybercriminals have received in the past.
Recall that the US has been subject to series of ransomware attacks especially after the Joe Biden administration took over government.
Most recently Colonial Pipeline in the US was attacked and the company was forced to shut down operation for days. It led to fuel scarcity in some parts of the US and a hike in the price of fuel. The firm had to pay over $5m ransom to the cybercriminals suspected to be REvil based in Russia.
The group also hit meat supplier, JBS food and crippled operations of the firm. JBS also had to pay a ransom before it was freed from the hack.
All these hacks culminated in the need of the US to create a task force that would deal decisively with the problem.
Ahead of the task force, President Biden during certain diplomatic meetings (G7) summit and a meeting with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin told the leaders on why the cancer of ransomware attacks has to be stopped.
Other strategies to nab ransomware attacks by the US
Deputy National Security Adviser, Anne Neuberger noted that they are working on a new strategy that includes efforts to disrupt ransomware attacks, quell the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for such illegal activities.
She notes that works are also going underground to partner nations and convince them from harboring cybercriminals.
In curbing ransomware attacks, the State Department also considered launching a new bounty program that will offer rewards up to $10 million for people who bring information that would result in the identification of alleged cybercriminals, according to Politico’s report.
What next after task force, expert raises concern over teams efficacy
Beyond the face value of setting up a task force whose mandate is to curb ransomware attacks, Andy Bennett a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Apollo Information Systems noted that there are other questions to be answered after the inauguration of the task force.
On the creation of the task force, Andy acknowledged that the task force is worthwhile and if done right will have significant impacts in improving efforts to combat and build resilience to ransomware for all areas of government.
He warns, however, that collaboration is key for the success of the task force.
“Just like the fight against terrorism and concerted efforts to share information between intelligence agencies after 9/11, it is absolutely critical that agencies collaborate and help one another develop a strategy and combine expertise to fight the current epidemic of ransomware attacks, he said.