CISA Issues Holiday Ransomware Message

CISA Issues Holiday Ransomware Message

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are warning Americans not to take a break from cybersecurity this holiday season.

In a joint alert issued Monday, the agencies urged the public and private sector organizations to “remain vigilant and take appropriate precautions to reduce their risk to ransomware and other cyberattacks” ahead of Thanksgiving.

The warning was not triggered by receiving any specific threat intelligence but was born instead from knowing what has come to pass. 

“This advisory is based on observations on the timing of high impact ransomware attacks that have occurred previously rather than a reaction to specific threat reporting,” said the agencies. 

“Specifically, malicious cyber actors have often taken advantage of holidays and weekends to disrupt critical networks and systems belonging to organizations, businesses, and critical infrastructure.” 

The agencies said that data gathered in 2021 showed cyber actors launching “serious and impactful ransomware attacks during holidays and weekends, including Independence Day and Mother’s Day weekends”.

A paper chain of recommended mitigations accompanied the call for caution. First, entities were advised to select and identify the IT security employees to provide weekend and holiday

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