Brandon Wales, acting executive director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, issued both a warning and a hopeful message Monday to organizations struggling with the scourge of ransomware.

The warning: “the race is on” between government, industry and an increasingly professionalized criminal underground to identify digital weaknesses that can be leveraged in ransomware campaigns, like the vulnerabilities identified in Microsoft Exchange servers. As long as the operating business model used by these groups continues to reap sky-high profits, he said, the rising volume and trajectory of attacks is unlikely to abate and there is no tool or policy sitting in the back pockets of law enforcement or industry waiting to be unleashed.

“We have not cracked the code. The ransomware problem continues to grow and we need more and new innovative thinking on this,” Wales admitted.

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