October 18, 2019

Boston Globe: Mass. lawmakers call for US crackdown on ransomware attacks

Congressional representatives from Massachusetts are calling for a federal crackdown on ransomware, a form of malware that hackers have used to cripple state and local agencies — sometimes for weeks — by locking their computer systems and demanding payment to release them.

In a letter released Friday, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with eight of the state’s representatives, asked Homeland Security for more help with a problem that has affected communities across the state.

The letter urges the Department of Homeland Security to “broaden its existing efforts assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial governments’ responses to these attacks.”

The members of the Massachusetts delegation cited attacks in Leominster, where officials paid $10,000 to recover locked files last year; in Athol, where police lost many records after refusing to pay a ransom this year; and New Bedford, which suffered a similar attack this year.  

Read the full article on the Boston Globe website here

By:  Andy Rosen
Source: Boston Globe