The United States Department of Justice has announced to elevate the status of ransomware. Now, ransomware will have the same priority as terrorism, according to a news report from Reuters. As high-profile cases of ransomware are becoming rampant, the Department of Justice had taken note of the rise.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has also taken notice of the issue. The head of the committee Carolyn Maloney has requested documents from ransomware victims to investigate the issue. Ransomware has now become a political issue – bringing in cryptocurrencies to the negative limelight.
The advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies may be considered one of the best innovations of the new century. It is believed to possess the potential to change the world. With the globe moving towards digitization, decentralized technologies are the new favorite as institutional behemoths garner increasing control of the world’s resources. However, decentralized technology like cryptocurrencies also come with a lot of issues.
Recently, cryptocurrencies have become a means of facilitating online ransomware. There has also been observed a spike in illegal activities like money laundering and tax evasion due to cryptocurrencies but ransomware is gaining more popularity.
A Russian hacker group that goes by the name of DarkSide had recently targeted Colonial Pipeline – the largest pipeline for refined oil products in the U.S – demanding a ransom in Bitcoin. The company reportedly paid a multi-million ransom to the hackers as the hack took out most of the oil and gas supply in the East Coast.
Another Russian hacker group called REvil targeted JBS USA – a leading meat processing company. The hack took out meat plants throughout the nation. Although the company has not revealed whether or not it paid the ransom, these high-profile hacks have resulted in cryptocurrency ransomware increasing in priority.