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Ransomware Gangs Get Paid Off As Officials Struggle For Fix

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FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2020, file photo a U.S. Department of Homeland Security plaque is displayed a podium as international passengers arrive at Miami international Airport where they are screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami. The damned-if-you-pay-damned-if-you-don’t dilemma on ransomware payments has left U.S. officials fumbling about how to respond. While the Biden administration “strongly discourages” paying, it recognizes that failing to pay would be suicidal for some victims. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

(AP) — The dilemma surrounding ransomware payments has left U.S. officials fumbling about how to respond to such demands. While the Biden administration “strongly discourages” paying, officials recognize that failing to pay would be almost self-destructive for some victims. In an initial step, bipartisan draft legislation would mandate immediate federal reporting of ransomware attacks. Doing so could assist response, help identify attackers and even recoup ransoms, as the FBI did with most of the $4.4 million that Colonial Pipeline recently paid. But without additional action soon, experts say ransomware payments will continue to skyrocket.

 

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