Along: Eric Tucker, Associated Press
Contributor: June 10, 2021 / 12:19 p.m. CDTUpdated: June 10, 2021 / 12:19 p.m. CDT
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) secretary Christopher Ray testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP photo / Manuel Valls Seneta)
Washington (AP) – The FBI director on Thursday called on lawmakers to block ransomware payments to hacker groups even after large corporations participated in a multi-million dollar deal aimed at breaking the system last month bring it back online. He said.
“It’s our policy that companies shouldn’t pay the ransom for many reasons, and it’s our orders from the FBI,” said Christopher Ray on a question from members of the House Judiciary Committee. I testified.
Aside from the fact that such payments can enable additional cyberattacks, victims may not be able to get data automatically despite millions of forks.
In a ransomware attack, a hacker locks and encrypts the victim’s data and demands payment to return it. They have increased in scope in the last year and are aimed not only at hospitals and police agencies, but also at critical infrastructures and critical industries. Paying ransom has met some key business goals these days as it was feared that long-term outages could have catastrophic consequences for the country and disrupt critical supply chains. I’m going.
The Colonial Pipeline, which carries about 45% of the fuel consumed on the east coast, paid a ransom of 75 bitcoin last month in hopes of bringing the system back online.
On Wednesday, JBS SA, the world’s largest meat processing company, announced that it had paid $ 11 million worth of hackers who broke into computer systems last month.
Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Brant made the decision to pay the ransom this week, the toughest choice of his career, but the last, especially given the gas shortage that surfaced in parts of the United States in a matter of days. He said it was right. He said the key given to the company to decrypt the data wasn’t working perfectly, but Colonial resumed operations after a brief hiatus.
The Justice Department says it was able to recover most of the ransomware payments after finding the virtual wallet used by the hacker. Ray said that in addition to assisting the company in this way, Ray said they were able to obtain the hacker’s encryption key and, in certain cases, release the confiscated data without payment. I did.
“There are many things we can do to prevent this activity if we contact and coordinate law enforcement immediately, whether or not we pay the ransom,” he said. “That’s the most important part.”
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Ray: Despite recent trends, the FBI is outraged by paying ransomware | WGN radio 720
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