National cyber director says hospitals under attack have no choice but to pay ransom

High profile ransomware attacks have dipped after a summer of relentless attacks, but National Cyber Director Chris Inglis said it's too soon to tell if this downward trend is permanent, according to a Sept. 9 CyberScoop report.

Four details:

  1. "Those attacks have fallen off. Those syndicates have, to some degree, deconstructed," Mr. Inglis said. "I think it's a fair bet they have self-deconstructed and essentially gone cold and quiet to see whether the storm will blow over and whether they can then come back."

  2. The United States has not figured out how to prevent hackers from accessing systems, how to bring them to justice or how to follow the traces of ransom payments. All of that creates a weakness, Mr. Inglis said.

  3. The United States discourages companies from paying ransoms, but hospitals may have no choice when they are under attack because it affects their ability to deliver care to patients, Mr. Inglis said.

  4. "In order to save lives, open hospital rooms or to get patients to the right place at the right time, they have no other choice but to pay the ransom," he said. "We’re not, therefore, going to penalize someone to do what's essential to save lives."

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