US investigating 100 types of ransomware, FBI director says  

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The FBI is investigating about 100 different types of ransomware as the U.S. grapples with a sharp rise in cyberattacks, which FBI Director Christopher Wray compared to challenges posed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

"There are a lot of parallels, there's a lot of importance and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention," he told the Journal on June 3. "There's a shared responsibility, not just across government agencies, but across the private sector and even the average American." 

The U.S. recently experienced two major ransomware attacks: In May, a ransomware attack shut down Colonial Pipeline, prompting the company to pay $4.4 million to regain control of its operations and restore gasoline services along the East Coast. Earlier this week, hackers took the world’s largest meat processor, JBS, hostage

These ransomware hacks represent only a fraction of the 100 types of ransomware the FBI is investigating. Each of the 100 different malicious software variants has affected between a dozen and 100 targets, Mr. Wray said. 

The wave of recent ransomware attacks has drawn attention to the toll cyberattacks can have on all Americans, Mr. Wray said, adding that, for years, FBI officials have likened the need to confront rising cyber threats to the post-9/11 efforts against international terrorism. 

On June 3, the White House penned an open letter to business leaders with advice for protecting themselves against ransomware attacks. These steps include implementing multifactor identification, endpoint detection and response, encryption and a skilled cybersecurity team.

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