Colin Mc Hugo

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Colin Mc Hugo
Security Engineer Manager & CEO at Quantum Infinite Solutions Group Ltd.
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Cyber Security Incident Response
Management & Architecture of Cyber Security Teams
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  • Cyber Security Incident Response
  • Management & Architecture of Cyber Security Teams
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Black Hat 2021: Wanted posters for ransomware slingers

August 7, 2021

Is the online closing in on cyber-extortionists and might bounties on their collective heads finally assist stem the ransomware scourge?

Right here at Black Hat, the CISA keynote promises to deliver increased cooperation inside authorities companies over cybercriminals, particularly these focused on critical infrastructure and ransoms towards methods that may cripple the nation. However that’s not sufficient, now there’s a ‘ransom’ for the ransomer.

A nascent group stood up by the U.S. Division of State is right here at Black Hat with a rapidly propped up sales space stuffed with bins of hacker shirts and flyers with needed posters depicting shadowy figures in hoodies – presumably ransomware authors – and a bounty on their collective heads of $10 million. No small sum.

How do you money in? They need specifics about identities and places (presumably actionable), the extra data the merrier. No, you most likely gained’t begin with the $10 million reward, however the pool of money is there, and hey, hackers must pay hire too. They even have a number of methods of securely dropping your hints and ideas.

This definitely alerts a ramping-up of official efforts directed on the ransomware scourge reaping document hauls from companies feeling forced to pay.

Will it work?

The economics aren’t sure, but it surely’s truthful to say that previously couple of years ransomware authors have been hauling in sufficient money to purchase an island or two, and possibly even a ship to get there. However that is perhaps altering.

One factor is bound: OpSec for ransomware crews simply bought actual.

Right here at Black Hat there are banners about hackers working more durable than the remainder of us. Perhaps, however there is a component of enlightened laziness behind all of it – hackers need one thing low cost and simple, simple as attainable. So elevating the stakes sours the deal considerably.

I used to be requested at an interview right here whether or not the federal government weighing in will cease ransomware. No. The velocity of presidency tends towards glacial. However as soon as the weather are in movement, they carry a really giant hammer, bigger than your typical crew of hackers.

It’s additionally unclear whether or not authorities people will all of a sudden be enticed (and allowed) to work between silos, in an setting that’s famously insular. But when they’ve permission, possibly the anti-ransomware glacier will start to ooze in that path. However not earlier than the following ransomware assault.

Whereas it’s unlikely that public hangings might be reinstated, ransom posters appear fairly visceral on some degree, possibly harkening again to the outdated west. Vegas participated within the outdated west again within the day, possibly one a part of frontier justice is poised to return, particularly for those who occur to be that shadowy determine within the hoodie.

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