Paying fortifies ransomware gangs but scant support for bans

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BOSTON (AP) — The dilemma surrounding ransomware payments has left U.S. officials fumbling about how to respond to such demands. While the Biden administration “strongly discourages” paying, officials recognize that failing to pay would be almost self-destructive for some victims. In an initial step, bipartisan draft legislation would mandate immediate federal reporting of ransomware attacks. Doing so could assist response, help identify attackers and even recuperate ransoms, as the FBI did with most of the $4.4 million that Colonial Pipeline recently paid. But without additional action soon, experts say ransomware payments will continue to skyrocket.

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