Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs Chairman Gary Peters introduced Tuesday on Market Espresso Home’s “New Day” that the bipartisan investigation will search to raised perceive how cryptocurrency emboldens cybercriminals and to establish attainable coverage modifications.
The probe is a part of a sequence of steps the Michigan Democrat and different lawmakers have taken to handle a spate of cybersecurity incidents, together with soon-to-be-released laws associated to current ransomware assaults, he mentioned.
“Cryptocurrencies are the medium of alternative by these of us,” he informed Market Espresso Home, referring to cybercriminals. “Nicely over $400 million has been paid in ransoms on this final 12 months from cryptocurrencies.”
The Justice Division mentioned it seized roughly $2.3 million in Bitcoins paid to people in a felony hacking group often called DarkSide — the group blamed for the crippling ransomware assault on Colonial Pipeline, which spurred days of panic shopping for and gasoline shortages.
Ransomware assaults have grown in scope and class within the final 12 months, Deputy Lawyer Common Lisa Monaco mentioned on the time, calling them an “epidemic.”
The back-to-back incidents have raised issues concerning the vulnerabilities they reveal in important infrastructure and industries throughout the US.
“We wish to be certain that we’re coping with cryptocurrency and perceive why it’s the alternative by these of us and the way can we disrupt that alternative,” Peters mentioned.
The investigation will delve into why cryptocurrency, which is troublesome for regulation enforcement to trace, is being utilized in ransomware assaults and the way it may be disrupted. It can additionally purpose to establish attainable coverage options for lawmakers and regulators, the senator mentioned.
The Biden administration has additionally ramped up its efforts to disrupt the rising and more and more damaging ransomware assaults.
“Particular person corporations really feel beneath stress — notably in the event that they have not executed the cybersecurity work — to repay the ransom and transfer on,” Neuberger added. “However in the long run, that is what drives the continued ransom [attacks]. The extra of us receives a commission, the extra it drives larger and larger ransoms and increasingly more potential disruption.”