Senate report criticizes feds' approach to ransomware investigations

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May 24, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

A report that Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee issued on Tuesday asserts that ransomware attacks are surging even as federal efforts to respond to them are not up to the task.

The report, which focuses on the use of cryptocurrency to execute such attacks, concludes that the government is struggling to keep up with the problem in part because data reporting and collection on ransomware attacks and payments is “fragmented and incomplete.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency website and the FBI’s website claim to host what the government bills as its “one-stop” location for reporting ransomware attacks. The agencies say they share data, but the report asserts that ransomware incident response firms “questioned the effectiveness of such communication channels’ impact on assisting victims of an attack.”

Ransomware has become a scourge across sectors, with attacks hitting hospitals and school systems; local, state and federal government agencies; and critical infrastructure entities in the water and energy sectors. Ransomware attacks impacted at least 2,323 local governments, schools and health care providers in the United States last year, the report says. But

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