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From the Cybersecurity News Desk

Ransomware Payments Have Nearly Tripled This Last Year

Deputy Treasury Secretary Addresses Threat

We’ve just hit a new record of ransomware payments to Financial Institutions in the U.S. in 2021 that nearly tripled from the previous year, according to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Officials say the surge of ransomware over recent years has been a result of an increase in ransomware activity due to cybercriminals taking desperate action to go against the improved reporting and detection of those attacks that are in place. Major industries such as Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods are still a main target for ransomware and the efforts to attack these kinds of industries are not slowing down and will continue to get worse.

At the second International Counter Ransomware Initiative Summit, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo addressed the current approach about the looming ransomware threat this past Tuesday. He hosted 36 countries at Treasury to join him in the discussion.

Adeyemo starts out by saying “We may approach the challenge of ransomware with a different lens—and in some cases, an entirely different set of tools”, according to a readout of his prepared remarks. He points out “that hackers around the world consider conducting ransomware attacks as the most profitable scheme on the internet. More profitable than even selling illegal drugs via darknet markets and stealing and selling stolen credit cards.” In conclusion, he states, “In the midst of this landscape, it is more important than ever that we come together to share what we are seeing through our unique lenses and learn from each other’s best practices.”

Following the Treasury summit, the 36 countries and the European Union came together and pledged to take further action to improve the efforts against ransomware. As for their efforts, they will coordinate a voluntary International Counter Ransomware Task Force led by Australia that will spread early awareness and work to counter illicit financing.

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