The former head of cybersecurity in the UK raised concerns that the ransomware incident is approaching “out of control”. Ciaran Martin also called for legislation to prevent people from paying Bitcoin to cybercriminals.
Former officials claim that most cybercriminals are from Russia
Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), pointed out in an interview with The Guardian that insurance companies indirectly fund organized crime in ransomware incidents.
Martin believes that the company’s insurance claims from ransomware attacks help perpetuate criminals. In addition, the former cybersecurity official stated that during a pandemic, such attacks could damage the national health system:
I think this can be avoided. Currently, the company has an incentive to pay the ransom to make sure that everything is gone… You must seriously consider changing the insurance law and prohibiting these payments, or at least major negotiations with the industry.
The former NCSC official said the problem was the lack of legal barriers preventing the company from paying the ransom.
The Guardian quoted him as saying that most of the threat actors came from Russia and some other former Soviet countries. Martin added: “People are paying criminals in bitcoin and claiming cash back.”
British law does not prohibit payment of ransom to online gangs
Although British law strictly prohibits the payment of ransom to terrorists, the rule does not cover cybercriminals. The report gives the following explanation:
Britain’s blackmail laws prohibit the payment of ransoms to terrorists, and are largely formulated in response to the threat of kidnapping. But cyberattacks are not carried out by terrorist organizations, so there is no barrier to payment of ransom demands-if personal data is not involved, insurance claims may be made.
According to a report shared with news.Bitcoin.com, the malware laboratory Emsisoft stated that during the US ransomware incident, 2020 is another “cyber criminal’s year of quitting.”
In addition, a study by blockchain analysis company Chainalysis found that crimes related to cryptocurrencies have been greatly reduced. By 2020, the share of crime in all cryptocurrency activities will fall to 0.34%.
How do you view the concerns of former intelligence officials? Let us know in the comments section below.
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