Ransomware Payments Become an Even Riskier Choice Amidst the Ever-Growing Sanctions List

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In February 2022, Executive Order 14024 highlighted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened not only Ukraine but also the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Pursuant to this executive order, and in the face of national security concerns, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has instituted extensive sanctions, including both economic and trade sanctions. Also, in response to the national security concerns, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a Shields Up notice, urging companies to bolster their cybersecurity to protect themselves against the threat of a cyberattack.

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the threat of a cyberattack, specifically ransomware and NotPetya-style attacks, remains top of mind. However, as entities continue to bolster their cybersecurity and protect themselves against these attacks, they should be cognizant of the implications that OFAC sanctions may have in connection with such an attack.

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Ransomware Attacks in 2022 – Things are NOT Getting Better: A Call to Arms

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The success of ransomware attacks in 2021 has only emboldened cyber threat actors around the globe to continue these nefarious attacks on innocent victims. Ransomware attacks are only going to be growing in 2022. This conclusion comes from a recent international partner advisory (Advisory) jointly issued by The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI and the NSA.

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Log4j Vulnerability Prompts Insurance Commissioners to Issue Guidance

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On December 11, 2021, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in partnership with the FBI and NSA, announced a critical remote code execution vulnerability had been identified in the Apache Log4j software library. This vulnerability allowed a successful threat actor to take control of a network system and cause a variety of damage, including the ability to launch ransomware, steal and destroy victim information, deploy malware, and disrupt internal and infrastructure operational control. Insurance regulators from four states have recently issued guidance in response to the threat, and it is likely more insurance commissioners will follow suit.

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NIST Releases New “Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management” to Battle Growing Threat of Ransomware Attacks

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Ransomware incidents continue to be on the rise, wreaking havoc for organizations globally. Ransomware attacks target an organization’s data or infrastructure, and, in exchange for releasing the captured data or infrastructure, the attacker demands a ransom. This creates a dilemma for organizations — the decision to pay the ransom, relying on the attacker to release the data as they say, or to reject the ransom demand and try to restore the data or operations on their own.

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Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast: The Growth and Evolution of Disruptionware

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Cyberattacks are an increasingly common presence in the news, and disruptionware has emerged as a popular — and particularly nefarious — type of attack. Disruptionware poses an especially troubling threat, because it attacks both an organization’s information technology and operational technology networks — often with highly destructive goals. In this episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, host Jason G. Weiss sits down with Peter Baldwin to break down disruptionware attacks, the industries that are most susceptible to them, and what we can learn from high-profile incidents.

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Disruptionware VII: The Evolution of Disruptionware and the Growth of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)

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I have written multiple times about the danger of disruptionware to both Information Technology (IT) networks as well as Operational Technologies (OT) networks of victims globally. As discussed here, many different nefarious tools make up the disruptionware “tool kit.” These tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Ransomware
  • Wipers
  • Bricking capabilities tools
  • Automated components
  • Data exfiltration tools
  • Network reconnaissance tools

The most well-known and most used of all these tools is ransomware malware. Ransomware attacks have grown exponentially over the past few years. Dozens of ransomware gangs are launching ransomware attacks and terrorizing and extorting businesses throughout the world. This has included specific attacks against the U.S. energy sector as well as U.S. infrastructure projects.

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