(PatriotWise.com)- In a letter that can only be described as stating the blazingly obvious, White House NSC cybersecurity advisor Ann Neuberger warned American businesses about the rising risk of ransomware attacks.
Urging companies to bolster their digital security measures, Neuberger wrote that “no company is safe” from ransomware hacks regardless of size or location.
Neuberger also urged businesses to take ransomware crime seriously and “ensure your corporate cyber defenses match the threat.”
However, from the White House’s public reaction after both the Colonial Pipeline attack in May and the attack on beef producer JBS earlier this week, one organization that doesn’t appear to “take ransomware crime seriously” might be the White House.
Neuberger’s letter offers advice on how companies can protect their data – including keeping data backups offline, keeping systems updated and patched, and strengthening firewalls between operational systems and the internet.
Though these ransomware attacks are usually perpetrated by loosely affiliated groups of hackers and criminals, there is evidence suggesting that the most prolific “ransomware as service” outfits are based in Russia.
In May the Russian-based SolarWinds, the group behind the Colonial Pipeline intrusion, conducted a wave of ransomware attacks targeting over 150 government entities, think tanks and non-governmental organizations.
According to the White House the ransomware attack on JBS is possibly linked, not to SolarWinds, but to a Russian criminal organization. Subsequently, the FBI identified the hackers as a Russian ransomware gang known as REvil.
The government of Russia rarely takes action against these cybercriminals – unless a Russian company, organization or individual is the target. Because of this, hackers tend to leave Russia alone and focus their criminal activity abroad.
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, these recent cyberattacks will be one of the issues discussed when President Biden meets with Russian President Putin in Geneva Switzerland on June 16.
Psaki said Biden believes Putin should play a role in preventing these attacks.
After the Colonial Pipeline attack, President Biden signed an executive order launching a “rapid strategic review” to address the increasing threat of ransomware attacks. The four-pronged review will include disrupting ransomware infrastructure and actors, building an international coalition to hold countries who harbor ransom actors accountable, and expanding the analysis of cryptocurrency networks.