Why Ransomware Attacks Are Here to Stay — and What to Do about It

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Considering three ways that the U.S. government can address ransomware and cybercrime.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F ollowing a wave of enforcement actions against ransomware actors over the last week, U.S.-led efforts to disrupt global cybercrime at last appear to be bearing fruit. Policy-makers, however, would be unwise to lose focus on the present problem: Ransomware is driving the economics of cybercrime in a dangerous direction — and absent sustained policy attention, it will remain a problem for years to come.

Ransomware is changing cybercrime in two ways.

First, the technology of ransomware has expanded the universe of cybercrime in general. Previously, cybercriminals tended to target data held at scale within specific industries — namely, credit-card details, tax records,

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John Sakellariadis is a 2021–2022 Fulbright U.S student-research grantee. His research currently focuses on ransomware and critical-infrastructure protection.


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