US Senator Gary Peters Investigates Crypto and Ransomware, Introduces Legislation

US Senator Gary Peters, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has initiated bipartisan legislation targeting cybersecurity threats including the usage of cryptocurrency and payment of ransom.

The bill,  the DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act, would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) seeks to mitigate threats to Industrial Control Systems – the operational technology involved in operating the function of critical infrastructure networks. Co-sponsors include Senators Rob Portman, Mark Warner, and Marco Rubio. The bill is the Senate companion to legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives thus indicating a solid probability to become law.

Simultaneously, Senator Peters is conducting an investigation into the role crypto plays in regard to cybercriminals committing ransomware attacks.

The investigation aims to examine the rise in ransomware attacks, how cryptocurrency enables cybercriminals and how authorities may disrupt the incentive to commit crimes in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

In recent months, multiple cyber attacks have taken place targeting vulnerable firms and networks. Frequently, cyber crooks request ransom payment in crypto due to its ease of transfer. While tracking crypto transfers is becoming easier due to federal authorities ramping up in-house and contracted firms to hunt down nefarious actors, crypto is still easier to manage than cash.

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