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White House Urged to Address Surge in Ransomware Attacks

  • Pressure urged to discourage hacker ‘safe havens’ abroad
  • Tougher cryptocurrency oversight advocated to curb ransomware
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Cybersecurity experts, law enforcement agencies and governments urged the White House to root out safe havens for criminals engaging in ransomware and step up regulation of cryptocurrencies, the lifeblood of hackers, in the hopes of controlling a growing wave of attacks.

These are two of 48 recommendations made by a task force in a report Thursday to the Biden administration aimed at fighting the continuing ransomware episodes that plague major corporations, local governments and health-care providers across the world. The task force, organized by the Institute for Security and Technology, said the cyber-attacks have become a $350 million criminal industry -- a four-fold increase from the previous year. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department created its own, independent ransomware task force, signaling growing awareness inside the U.S. government of the now decade-old threat.