As ransomware attacks continue to wreak havoc on police departments, school districts and city and county governments, some state legislators say they’ve had enough.
At least three states—New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—are considering legislation that would ban state and local government agencies from paying ransom if they’re attacked by cybercriminals. A similar bill in Texas died in committee earlier this year.
Prohibiting ransom payments would help deter attacks because cybercriminals would know they couldn’t get paid and would have no financial incentive, the legislators say.
“If criminals know that Pennsylvania will not pay ransom, we are going to make ourselves a less likely target for these types of attacks,” said Republican state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, who is sponsoring a no-ransom bill. “Our citizens’ personal information is on the line. We have to do everything we can to protect them.”
Author(s): Jenni Bergal, Stateline
Publication Date: 27 July 2021
Publication Site: Governing