US Government Ramps Up Efforts to Combat Ransomware Attacks

Azeez Mustapha
3 June 2021 | Updated: 3 June 2021

To tackle the ever-growing problem of ransomware attacks in the US, the Biden administration plans to enhance cryptocurrency tracking measures, according to Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. This announcement comes amid several hacks on US-based companies.

Ransomware attacks involve the infiltration of individuals or organizations to encrypt sensitive information. With that, these attackers render the victim incapable of continuing operations and demand a ransom payment to regain access to their data.

Usually, most attackers request Bitcoin (BTC) ransom payments. However, many hackers have begun switching to Monero (XMR) payments of late, given that it provides more enhanced anonymity.

Ransomware attacks on US-based organizations recorded a notable spike over the past few months. In February, Kia Motors America (KMA) fell victim to such an attack. The hackers demanded that the company pay over $30 million worth of Bitcoin to regain access to their data.

US Government Prioritizes Combating Ransomware

The increased ransomware activities across the country have forced the US to take firm actions to curtail further increases. During a press briefing aboard Air Force One, the Deputy Press Secretary asserted that “combating ransomware is a priority for the administration.”

Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Several reports have fingered Russia as a primary abetter with some of the attacks seen on US soil. That said, Jean-Pierre reassured in the press briefing that the government was “engaging directly” with Moscow to deliver “the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”

She revealed that President Biden had initiated a “rapid strategic review” consisting of a four-pronged effort. Jean-Pierre further explained that:

“One, distribution of ransomware infrastructure and actors working closely with the private sector. Two, building an international coalition to hold countries who harbor ransom actors accountable. Three, expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and pursue criminal transactions. Four, reviewing the USG’s ransomware policies.”

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.