A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday to explore the growing threat of ransomware.
Even Congress has been affected by ransomware threats. Earlier this month, members of the U.S. House of Representatives received warnings that the House network experienced an increase in attempted ransomware attacks. Senate staffers have not received warnings of similar attacks, a Senate aide told SCMagazine.com at the time.
A growing number of ransomware incidents have produced divergent reactions among security professionals, as several reports note an increase in the prevalence and complexity of ransomware attacks. A report last month noted that attacks are growing increasingly sophisticated, shifting towards a future of self-propagating ransomware, or “cryptoworms.” A report published in March noted that ransomware would “wreak havoc on America's critical infrastructure community” this year.
“Malware authors have recognized that designing robust software that blackmails users by holding their data captive is the most lucrative thing to happen for them since Google monetized the click,” wrote eSentire CTO Mark McArdle, in an email obtained by SCMagazine. “Traditional approaches to preventing ransomware are failing because the bad guys are innovating faster than the good guys can create signatures.”
Following a ransomware attack against Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, draft legislation in California seeks to impose specific penalties for ransomware.