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US to elevate investigations of ransomware attacks to terrorism-level priority

Source : 112 Ukraine

Colonial Pipeline decided to pay the hackers who invaded their systems nearly $5 million to regain access
11:52, 5 June 2021
Open source
 
Following the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline and the growing damage caused by cybercriminals, ransomware investigations are being raised to the level of terrorism in the United States. This was reported by Reuters.

"The US Department of Justice is elevating investigations of ransomware attacks to a similar priority as terrorism," the message reads.

Related: European Union extends the sanctions imposed for hacker attacks for a year

In practice, it means that investigators in US attorney's offices handling ransomware attacks will be expected to share both updated case details and active technical information with leaders in Washington.

Last month, a cyber criminal group that the US authorities said operates from Russia, penetrated the pipeline operator on the US East Coast, locking its systems and demanding a ransom. The hack caused a shutdown lasting several days, led to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localized fuel shortages in the southeast.

Colonial Pipeline decided to pay the hackers who invaded their systems nearly $5 million to regain access.

The Justice Department's decision to push ransomware into this special process illustrates how the issue is being prioritized. Previously, this model has been applied to terrorism and national security cases.

Related: Microsoft reports large-scale hacker attack, Russian Federation is suspected

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