A recession is officially underway in the United States, and the country is uneasy. Thankfully, one small piece of good news will carry a greater impact if one specific bill becomes law. This past week, Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) announced a win when his cybersecurity RANSOMWARE Act passed in the House.
Rep. Bilirakis states that the Nations for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies Act will improve government responses to cyber-attacks from foreign nations.
Essentially, the RANSOMWARE Act is an updated version of the U.S. SAFE WEB Act from 2006. The original SAFE WEB Act created a network of cooperation with foreign law enforcement to solve international consumer protection issues. Bilirakis' bill will require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report cross-border ransomware complaints.
The new bill, first introduced by Bilirakis in July 2021, targets China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as enablers or as those who commit ransomware attacks against the U.S. Additionally, according to InfoSecurity, the report will include international ransomware complaints that have or have not been acted upon, foreign agencies the FTC cooperated with to achieve results, and finally the outcome of foreign court litigations related to ransomware bought by the FTC.
While cyber-attacks may be the last thing on the average American's mind in the midst of economic downturn, the bill will nonetheless serve an important role. Last year, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm stated in plain terms that foreign cyber-attacks possess the capability to shut down the American power grid.
"We have seen an increase in cyber-crimes against Americans," says Bilirakis. "These incidents underscore the importance of fortifying and modernizing our critical infrastructure to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks. This is a matter of national security and we must do everything we can to protect all Americans from those who wish to do us harm."