Sat, 31 Jul 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: A senior member of the Democratic Party has emphasized the need for greater transparency about those companies paying ransoms to cybercriminals.

Senator Mark Warner, chairing the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the statement following a major American meat processing and supplying company being compelled to close down its plants, which process nearly one-quarter of the U.S. supply of beef, following a cyberattack.

"Not only are the companies often not reporting that they are attacked, but they're not reporting the ransomware payments," Warner remarked on the "Meet the Press" program aired on NBC.

Warner, concurrently co-chairing and having founded the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, stressed that it was "worth having" a discussion on the necessity to make ransom payouts unlawful for firms in the United States.

During the "Meet the Press" program, Jennifer Granholm, leading the U.S. Department of Energy, supported a likely prohibition on ransom payouts.

"We need to send this strong message that paying of ransomware only exacerbates and accelerates this problem. You are encouraging the bad actors when that happens," Granholm said.

JBS USA, among the largest food firms globally, was crippled by a cyber-assault not long after Colonial Pipeline Company had to forcibly close down its complete network in May that provides almost 50 percent of the United States' East Coast gasoline supply for several days after cybercriminals successfully compromised its systems.

The two cases are linked to hacking professionals from Russia, and President Joe Biden intends to bring up the matter during an upcoming meeting with his counterpart from Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Also, Maine Senator Angus King, caucusing with the Democratic Party and concurrently part of the intelligence board, opined that privately owned firms must not only mandatorily report incidents of breaches, but must additionally be offered protection against liability claims, thereby resulting in the creation of "an entirely new relationship between the federal government and private sector."

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