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Feds Turn To Big Tech To Fight Cybercrime

Following a series of high-profile infrastructure attacks, the federal government has turned to the world of Big Tech to help protect against cybercrime.

As The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday (Aug. 5), the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is asking companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft to assist in its Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative.

The initiative will initially focus on dealing with ransomware and cyberattacks on cloud-computing providers, Jen Easterly, director of the agency, told the newspaper. But ultimately, the agency wants to boost defense planning and information sharing between the government and Big Tech companies. “This will uniquely bring people together in peacetime, so that we can plan for how we’re going to respond in wartime,” Easterly said in an interview.

The past year has seen ransomware attacks cause major supply chain disruptions throughout the U.S., leading to gas shortages in the south and holdups in meat production.

Read more: White House Ransomware Task Force Tries To Stem The Tide Of Attacks

“Following a ransomware attack last month on cloud-services provider Kaseya Ltd, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. would take ‘any necessary action’ to protect its infrastructure from these incidents,” the Journal report stated. “Just days later, the administration blamed hackers affiliated with China’s Ministry of State Security for a separate set of attacks on users of Microsoft Exchange Server software.”

It’s not just the White House looking at cybersecurity. The Senate included additional cybersecurity funding in the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that could be passed this week.

Last month, the DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a website to provide ransomware resources to protect consumers and institutions. StopRansomware.gov is designed to be the “first central hub consolidating ransomware resources from all federal government agencies,” according to a press release from the DOJ.

Read more: DOJ, DHS Launch Website To Combat Ransomware

Around the same time, the White House’s ransomware task force announced rewards of up to $10 million to anyone who provides information that can help identify these malicious hackers.

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