The Biden administration is looking to crack down on ransomware, especially as a series of major cyberattacks has recently occurred, Bloomberg reported. In the span of a few days, attacks were leveled at the police station in Washington, D.C., with hackers threatening to release information on police informants to criminal gangs.
Another attack affected the Illinois Attorney General’s office, which had already been warned about weak cybersecurity practices, and a third was sent to San Diego-based Scripps Health, where medical procedures were canceled and emergency patients were diverted to other hospitals, the report stated.
On Saturday (May 8), another attack added to the list, as Colonial Pipeline revealed that it had been the victim of an attack, where the attackers threatened to “upend gasoline and diesel supplies on the East Coast,” Bloomberg reported. While not many details are yet known, Colonial shut down the biggest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. as part of an effort to contain the threat.
“The recent ransomware attacks illustrate, by their number, severity and range of targets, why we need to treat this problem on the level of a real national security threat, both here and around the world,” said Christopher Painter, coordinator for cyber issues at the State Department under President Barack Obama, according to Bloomberg. “Fortunately, people in our government are paying attention.”
Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that ransomware was “one of our most significant priorities right now.” In March, his agency announced a 60-day sprint to address the issue, and the Department of Justice has created its own task force to address the problem.
The aforementioned task force will serve to cut down on ransomware and other such cyberattacks. Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin said that in putting ransomware attacks front and center, the department would upgrade training and resources and improve intelligence sharing.
Selected by EFXA