#BHEU: Ransomware is The New Terrorism, Contends Cyber Expert

#BHEU: Ransomware is The New Terrorism, Contends Cyber Expert

“The continued survival and future of your organization cannot be based upon negotiations with criminals,” was the stark message given by Tanner Johnson, principal analyst of OMDIA, during his session at Black Hat Europe 2021.

Titled ‘Ransomware: The New Terrorism,’ the session was dedicated to ransomware and covered its history, the evolution of the threat, response challenges, escalation to terrorism and mitigation practices.

History of Ransomware (As We Know It)

Johnson’s analysis of the history of ransomware (as we know it) started on the concept of ransom, one with a long history spanning the globe and coverings thousands of years: “criminals hold an entity hostage to extort money for its release.” Once stolen, “the criminals provide an official request outlining their demands for the release of said items,” explained Johnson. While ransoms have historically been tied to physical items of value, “they demanded physical logistics.” Focusing instead on today, as we have transitioned into an information-driven society, our dependence on access to data has only burgeoned.

Evolution of The Threat

“How, though, has the threat evolved?” pondered Johnson. “The proof of concept shown from the AIDS Trojan illustrated just how viable this

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