The White House Announces Additional Steps To Combat Ransomware : NPR

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The big meatpacker JBS faced a ransomware attack in early June. JBS paid a ransom of $11 million to cyberattackers.

Chet Strange/Getty Images


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Chet Strange/Getty Images

The big meatpacker JBS faced a ransomware attack in early June. JBS paid a ransom of $11 million to cyberattackers.

Chet Strange/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday announced new initiatives meant to combat growing domestic and foreign cyber threats.

The White House has launched a ransomware task force to help coordinate its efforts, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday evening.

The federal government will also launch stopransomware.gov, a website of preventative resources geared at assisting businesses and state and local governments with cybersecurity-related issues.

And the Biden administration will begin what it’s calling a Rewards for Justice program, a State Department effort offering up to $10 million for information that leads to the identification of state-sanctioned cyber activity against key infrastructure.

The additional steps come two months after President Biden signed an executive order focused on increasing federal cybersecurity protections.

And they come in the wake of multiple large-scale cyberattacks, including to SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline and JBS, a meat processor.

The steps from the White House also follow a major Russian-linked ransomware group reportedly going offline this week. The cause of the entity’s going offline is unknown.

The departments of State and Treasury also plan to work on increased regulation of virtual currency and focus on its role in spreading ransomware attacks, the administration official said.

NPR’s Franco Ordoñez contributed to this report.

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