Key message: CNN released a report on July 6 that the White House is finalizing a strategy to combat ransomware attacks. It is working with countries that are part of the Five Eyes alliance. Foreign crypto exchanges are reporting suspicious transactions to governments.
Ransomware and payment bans
Ransomware has become an issue again after a nationwide attack that targeted Kaseya and crippled up to 1,500 businesses worldwide.
The Russian criminal gang Revil confessed to the attack and demanded $70 million in BTC. Upon payment, thye would provide a universal decryptor. Alternatively, individual victims can send $45,000 in Monero to regain access to their data.
President Joe Biden is urging victims not to send any money. In a possible sign of desperation, the hackers have also reduced the amount requested to $50 million.
The strategy includes, for example, a plan to ban ransom payments across the board, but also to strengthen cybersecurity. However, this idea has also met with criticism that it could unnecessarily harm victims.