Ransomware tops U.S. cyber priorities, Homeland secretary says

Ransomware - which effectively holds files and networks hostage unless a payment is made - has steadily climbed to the top of America's security agenda as the criminals behind it become increasingly well-resourced. Speaking via a webcast, Mayorkas said that ransomware was "a particularly egregious type of malicious cyber activity" and listed it as the first of several top priorities that his department would tackle in the online sphere.

Reuters | Updated: 01-04-2021 01:11 IST | Created: 01-04-2021 01:11 IST
Ransomware tops U.S. cyber priorities, Homeland secretary says

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Wednesday that dealing with ransomware will be a top priority, highlighting the growing threat of the data-scrambling software. Ransomware - which effectively holds files and networks hostage unless a payment is made - has steadily climbed to the top of America's security agenda as the criminals behind it become increasingly well-resourced.

Speaking via a webcast, Mayorkas said that ransomware was "a particularly egregious type of malicious cyber activity" and listed it as the first of several top priorities that his department would tackle in the online sphere. Many ransomware operators work out of jurisdictions with a lax attitude to cybercrime, and Mayorkas said he would seek to hold accountable "governments that do not use the full extent of their authority to stop the culprits."

Mayorkas said the government would seek to disrupt not just those that launched ransomware operations but also "the marketplaces that enable them." It was not immediately clear which marketplaces Mayorkas was referring to, but ransom-seeking cybercriminals make heavy use of digital currency exchanges to collect payments from victims. Some also rely on underground marketplaces to help spread their malicious software. Earlier in his address, Mayorkas laid out an ambitious role for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is DHS' cyber arm. He said the agency would "quarterback" the U.S. government's digital defenses and serve as a "trusted interlocutor" between business executives and public servants.

"It is clearly best positioned to be the tip of the spear and the front door for the U.S. government's engagement with industry on cybersecurity," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

RS Prasad launches grievance redressal portal for people from Scheduled Castes

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a portal for people belonging to Scheduled Castes to file complaints in case they have any grievances. The mechanis...

Resolution introduced in US Congress to recognise significance of Baisakhi

A US Congressman has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to recognise the significance of Baisakhi and those who celebrate it.This resolution recognises the historic, cultural, and religious significance of the festival ...

India reports more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases for first time

India reported a record 200,739 COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, according to data issued by the health ministry on Thursday.Deaths stood at 1,038, taking the total to 173,123, the data showed.The countrys total case load reached 14.1...

US women soccer players appeal decision against equal pay

Players on the US womens national soccer team have asked a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court decision throwing out their lawsuit seeking equal pay to the mens team.Players led by Alex Morgan asked the 9th US Circuit Court of A...

Give Feedback