Ride the Lightning

Cybersecurity and Future of Law Practice Blog
by Sharon D. Nelson Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

U.S. Military Taking on Ransomware Groups

December 9, 2021

That is reportedly true, according to a CNET post on December 5.

The US military has gone on the offensive against ransomware groups as serious attacks on critical infrastructure increased.

Up until about nine months ago, fighting ransomware attacks was seen as the responsibility of law enforcement agencies, General Paul M. Nakasone, the head of US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, told the New York Times. But attacks like the ones on Colonial Pipeline and JBS beef plants have been “impacting our critical infrastructure,” Nakasone said, leading federal agencies to ramp up the gathering and sharing of intelligence on ransomware groups.

“The first thing we have to do is to understand the adversary and their insights better than we’ve ever understood them before,” Nakasone said in an interview at the Reagan National Defense Forum, a gathering of national security officials.

Nakasone didn’t describe the action taken or identify the groups targeted, but said one of the goals is to “impose costs” for ransomware groups.

As readers will recall, a crippling ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline forced the shutdown of a major US petroleum pipeline in May, leading to worries about widespread gas shortages along the East Coast. A month later, JBS USA, one of the biggest meat producers in the US, suffered a ransomware attack that temporarily knocked out processing plants.

Ransomware attacks against hospitals, banks, phone company and city governments have been successful and caused great consternation.

More details about the military’s involvement are sure to emerge but when our top cyberwarrior acknowledges military involvement in the fight against ransomware, it drew a lot of national attention.

Hat tip to Dave Ries.

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225, Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology