Ransomware Attacks: US Rep Asks Colonial Pipeline, CNA Financial for Payment Details

Two US companies and ransomware victims, Colonial Pipeline and CNA Financial, have been asked to reveal details of the payments made to hackers before they recovered their data.

US Rep. Carolyn Maloney sent letters to the firm on Thursday requesting that they release payment documents relating to the communications made with the ransomware attackers.

Maloney Fixes June 12 Deadline For Documents

Colonial Pipeline and CNA have been given until June 12, approximately two weeks to gather the materials and send them to the House Oversight Committee.

In the letters, Maloney requested all documents that detail how the attack was discovered, whether the companies sought external consultation about paying the ransoms, and documents detailing the decryption tools provided by the attackers.

According to Maloney, detailed information about the ransom payments made to cybercriminals is required to legislate effective laws on cybersecurity and ransomware in the country.

“I am extremely concerned that the decision to pay international criminal actors sets a dangerous precedent that will put an even bigger target on the back of critical infrastructure going forward,” she said in a press release.

Colonial Pipeline was hacked in May by hackers believed to be from Russia. The company was forced to shut down due to the ransomware attack, which created fuel shortages in the Southeastern states. The company reportedly paid $4.4 million in ransom.

Another ransomware attack happened later in the same month against CNA Financial. CNA, one of the country's largest insurance companies, reportedly paid $40 million in Bitcoin to restore access to its network.

Apart from these two companies mentioned above, other companies have also been attacked as ransomware hackers continue to terrorize US companies.

A few days ago, JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, was forced to shut down its US beef plants after a ransomware attack. Details are, however, unknown as to whether a ransom has been paid or not.

Ransomware Attackers to Face Growing Scrutiny In The US

The constant rate at which ransomware hackers attack firms and the cryptocurrency payments the hackers often induce has heightened the US government's concern.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) disclosed yesterday that it would start treating these attacks with the same urgency it treats terrorism.

The DoJ also sent a memo to the state US attorney offices and branches, asking US attorneys to file urgent reports if they hear of a significant ransomware attack.

These actions by the Justice Department to push ransomware into this special process show just how much the government is prioritizing the issue.

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