Amidst the rise of ransomware, the US government and industry officials believe that better cryptocurrency regulation is key to fighting the rampant cyber crime.
Cybersecurity specialists, law enforcement agencies and governments are urging the White House to seek out the criminals involved in ransomware and strengthen the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
The task force, organized by the Institute for Security and Technology, published a report on Thursday that touches on the changes that can combat ransomware effectively, which includes a more thorough tracking of cryptocurrencies.
The group consists of technology companies like Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and FireEye Inc. Although the group as a whole is not officially affiliated with the governments, there are also representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Secret Service, and the UK and Canadian law-enforcement agencies included in the group.
Those behind these malicious activities should be held accountable for their actions. That includes governments that do not use the full extent of their authority to stop the culprits.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary
It was reported that the Justice Department formed a task force that specializes in ransomware, studying the connections between cybercriminals and nation-states, among other areas.
Two of the task force members wrote that nearly $350 million have been stolen by ransomware hackers in the previous year, the numbers increased by three-folds from 2019. Companies, government agencies, hospitals and school systems are among the victims that were hit by the ransomware attacks.
The reason behind the popularity of cryptocurrencies among cybercriminals lies within their ability to provide a high degree of anonymity when receiving funds. This makes the transaction all the more challenging to track.
Organizations need to stay vigilant for any possible attacks in the future. Ensuring the effectiveness of data backups and regularly updating the incident response plans specifically for ransomware are highly important.