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Senators target countries that have cybercriminals



(Reuters) – Two leading U.S. senators enacted legislation on Thursday that would combat ransomware attacks on U.S. infrastructure by sanctioning countries that end up in cybercrime and strengthening protection against attacks.

Senators Marco Rubio, the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein, a member of the intelligence and judiciary, planned to introduce the "Sanction and Stop Ransomware Act" on Thursday.

According to a copy of the bill seen by Reuters, it would require the development of cyber security standards for critical infrastructure, tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies – often required as a redemption ̵

1; and call on the State Department and the intelligence community to designate a country considered a "state sponsor of ransomware ", which is considered to support ransomware demand programs.

threats of ransomware attacks on US infrastructure came home on the East Coast when an attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. in May led to extensive shortages of gas stations.

The Department of Justice was later able to help the company recover approximately $ 2.3 million in cryptocurrency that it paid to hackers.

About $ 350 million in ransom was paid to cybercriminals by 2020, an increase of more than 300% from the previous year, the department said.

President Joe Biden warned last month that if the United States ended up in a "real gun war" with a major power, it could be the result of a significant cyber attack on the United States, highlighting what Washington sees as a growing threat from hackers from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.


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