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US DOJ, DHS Launch Website To Combat Ransomware

In response to the growing international threat of ransomware attacks, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have launched a new website that provides ransomware resources to protect consumers and institutions from these attacks., which the DHS and DOJ teamed up with federal partners to put together, aims to be the “first central hub consolidating ransomware resources from all federal government agencies,” according to a press release from the DOJ.

The news comes as the White House’s new ransomware task force announced reward payouts of up to $10 million to anyone who provides information that can help identify these malicious hackers.

The site will aggregate resources, guidance and updates for individuals and businesses, as well as other organizations, from the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Secret Service and the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services.

U.S. federal agencies have been ramping up their cybersecurity efforts in recent months. The DOJ announced a new task force to combat ransomware and other cyberattacks in April, and at the same time, the DHS announced that the department would be executing several 60-day “cyber sprints” to combat cybercrimes and other issues.

In today’s release, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland called on business leaders to do their part in preventing these attacks. “We cannot do it alone,” he said. “It is critical for business leaders across industries to recognize the threat, prioritize efforts to harden their systems and work with law enforcement by reporting these attacks promptly.”

The release also noted that 75 percent of all ransomware attacks target small businesses — and they often go undiscovered. As PYMNTS recently reported, ransomware attacks occur roughly every 11 seconds. And 2020 saw cyberattackers get $350 million in paid ransoms — a 300 percent increase.

The new site makes it easier for victims and potential victims of cyberattacks to find guidance on how to respond and report attacks, and it will also feature the most recent ransomware alerts and threats.

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