Jul 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House announces ransomware task force after flood of cyberattacks

Biden.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden Administration has formed a multi-agency task force to address the growing threat posed by ransomware attacks, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Driving the news: Several ransomware attacks have plagued U.S. companies in recent months.

  • President Biden on a call with Vladimir Putin last week demanded the Russian leader crack down on cyber gangs operating in Russia, warning the U.S. would "defend its people" against ransomware attacks.

Details: The interagency group, which has been active since April, regularly convenes with the White House, providing frequent updates on its efforts to prevent critical breaches by cybercriminals.

  • The task force's priority actions include building an international coalition to facilitate cooperation to address ransomware threats.
  • It will also explore working with public and private partners to promote reporting of ransomware incidents and payments.

What they're saying: "We're looking for an enduring impact on the ransomware that's plaguing companies around the world, governments around the world," a senior administration official told reporters, per CBS. "No one thing will achieve that."

Worth noting: The State Department announced Thursday that its Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program is offering a compensation of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification of suspected cybercriminals.

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