HACKING_INVESTIGATIONS

News Update

US to treat ransomware hack attacks as terrorism

By Gwen Baumgardner (Reporter), Ben Burke (Producer), Mack Pittman (Editor)

Reuters is reporting tonight that The U.S. Department of Justice is elevating investigations of ransomware attacks to a similar priority as terrorism in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack and mounting damage caused by cyber criminals, a senior department official told Reuters.

In an exclusive report, Reuters says Internal guidance sent on Thursday to U.S. attorney’s offices across the country said information about ransomware investigations in the field should be centrally coordinated with a recently created task force in Washington.

“It’s a specialized process to ensure we track all ransomware cases regardless of where it may be referred in this country, so you can make the connections between actors and work your way up to disrupt the whole chain,” said John Carlin, principle associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

Last month, a cyber criminal group that the U.S. authorities said operates from Russia, penetrated the pipeline operator on the U.S. East Coast, locking its systems and demanding a ransom. The hack caused a shutdown lasting several days, led to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localized fuel shortages in the southeast.

Gwen Baumgardner: RIGHT NOW — THE U-S IS STEPPING UP IT’S GAME AGAINST HACK ATTACKS.
GOOD MORNING, I’M GWEN BAUMGARDNER — LET ME EXPLAIN.

WE’RE TALKING ABOUT RANSONWARE ATTACKS.
IT’S SO SERIOUS NOW….
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT’S ON PAR AS A TERRORISM ATTACK.
AND IT’S GOING TO TREAT THEM THE SAME WAY.
TO KEEP TAPS ON CYBER THREATS, THE D-O-J IS WORKING WITH U-S ATTORNEY’S OFFICES ACROSS THE COUNTRY… KEEPING ALL STATES ON THE SAME PAGE WITH A D.C. TASK FORCE.

THIS COMES AS NO SURPRISE.
EARLIER THIS WEEK, CYBER CROOKS ATTACKED MEAT PROCESSING COMPANY JBS, TEMPORARILY SHUTTING DOWN OPERATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA.

LAST MONTH — AN ATTACK SHUT DOWN COLONIAL PIPELINE FOR SEVERAL DAYS — LEADING TO A SPIKE IN GAS PRICES AND PANIC BUYING IN PARTS OF THE U-S.
AND HERE’S THE PART THAT’S REALLY SCARY – BOTH ATTACKS HAVE BEEN TIED TO RUSSIAN HACKERS.

THIS STORY IS NOT GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON,
WE PROMISE TO BE ALL OVER IT.

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Reuters is reporting tonight that The U.S. Department of Justice is elevating investigations of ransomware attacks to a similar priority as terrorism in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack and mounting damage caused by cyber criminals, a senior department official told Reuters.

In an exclusive report, Reuters says Internal guidance sent on Thursday to U.S. attorney’s offices across the country said information about ransomware investigations in the field should be centrally coordinated with a recently created task force in Washington.

“It’s a specialized process to ensure we track all ransomware cases regardless of where it may be referred in this country, so you can make the connections between actors and work your way up to disrupt the whole chain,” said John Carlin, principle associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

Last month, a cyber criminal group that the U.S. authorities said operates from Russia, penetrated the pipeline operator on the U.S. East Coast, locking its systems and demanding a ransom. The hack caused a shutdown lasting several days, led to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localized fuel shortages in the southeast.