U.S. Justice Department cracks down on ransomware criminals with task force

U.S. Justice Department cracks down on ransomware criminals with task force

29. April 2021 0 By Horst Buchwald

U.S. Justice Department cracks down on ransomware criminals with task force

Washington, 4/29/2021

The U.S. Department of Justice has established a task force to target ransomware operations. This is according to an internal memo obtained by CNN Business. The task force could tackle everything from server takedowns to seizing criminal assets, according to the memo.

Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin wrote in the memo, “It is imperative that we use the full authority and resources of the Department to address the many dimensions and root causes of this threat.”

The following overview shows the extent to which this extortion method has taken hold:

● According to a survey by Mimecast, more than six out of ten organizations reported being affected in the

been affected by a ransomware attack in the past year – an increase of

20% compared to 2019.

● The average ransomware payment increased 43% in the first quarter of 2021, reaching

$220,298, compared to $154,108 in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the median

ransomware payments increased to $78,398 in Q1, a 58% jump vs.

$49,450 in Q4.

● Centennial School District (Portland, Ore.) was hit by a ransomware attack,

which took its IT systems offline and resulted in the loss of classes.

● The Fiji government’s online services and networks were affected by a Ransomware-

Attack by the group REvil (Sodinokibi) disrupted.

● Guilderland Central School District (N.Y.) was hit by a ransomware attack,

that encrypted IT systems throughout the district.

● The Metropolitan Police Department (Washington, D.C.) was hit by a Babuk Locker

Ransomware attack that reportedly resulted in the theft of 250 GB of

of unencrypted files.

● Mipharm (Milan, Italy) was hit by a REvil (Sodinokibi) attack that led to the

Theft of confidential drug information.

● UnitingCare Queensland (Australia) was the victim of a ransomware attack that crippled the company’s internal

company’s systems, forcing its hospitals and nursing homes to

to operate without IT systems.

● The Valley Transportation Authority (California) was hit by an apparent

ransomware attack that disrupted transportation in Silicon Valley.

● Cegos Group, a French provider of distance learning and training, was hit by

a ransomware attack that crippled its accounting and billing tools.

● The ransomware group DoppelPaymer claims to have compromised the systems of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office

of Illinois to have been compromised.

● The Qlocker ransomware gang took $260,000 in five days,

by remotely archiving files on QNAP network-attached storage devices using the

7zip archiver program to remotely encrypt files.

● The ransomware group REvil threatens to release Apple product blueprints it allegedly stole from Apple supplier Quanta Computer if the company does not pay a ransom by May 1.

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