Is Law Enforcement Doing Enough To Fight Cyber Crime?

The Fight Against Cyber Crime

As of January 1, 2017, the state of California began enforcing a law which treats ransomware as a form of extortion.  Wyoming also has a similar law, and Maryland is considering adopting a law specific for the growing cyber crime, ransomware.  Prior to these laws, if a ransomware developer or distributer was arrested, the criminal justice system did not have appropriate guidance for charges and standard sentencing.  Now, in certain states they do.

This is great, it really is.  But–what about actually catching the cyber criminals?  They have to be caught to be charged and sentenced, right?  Well, what are authorities doing to catch them?  This is where there seems to be a gap.  I cannot tell you how many times I have read an article about a ransomware attack and it has stated that although local and government officials have been informed, there is little they can do.  There are two reasons for this.  First, many of these attacks originate overseas.  Second, the cyber criminals are meticulous about covering their tracks.  Barrier, yes.  Excuse, no.

So what can authorities do?

Honestly, I don’t have an answer — but there has to be something, right?  Recently, a Bulgarian man was extradited to the U.S. for allegedly distributing the ransomware, GozNym.  He is still awaiting trial.  But what about the thousands of others who are committing these crimes?  Are officials focusing on them?  Perhaps they’re looking only for “the big fish”.  But how does that impact the victims?

The concern is, if the ransomware victims feel as though law enforcement won’t do anything regarding the attack, they will choose not to report future attacks.  In a recent survey completed by over 450 Tech Talk guests, 20% stated they would not bother reporting a ransomware attack to the FBI.  Would you?

Would you report a ransomware infection to the FBI?

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Failing to report the cyber crimes is not going to help matters.  Reporting the crime will not make tracking down the cyber criminals any easier; however, it will help authorities determine the magnitude of the issue.  Although, they should be fully aware of the magnitude, considering ransomware payments hit the $1 billion mark in 2016 and ransomware attacks increased by 167% from 2015 to 2016.

What are your thoughts?  Are there any law enforcement authorities out there who have input on this?


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4 thoughts on “Is Law Enforcement Doing Enough To Fight Cyber Crime?”

  1. If I had been unfortunate enough to be infected by malware/ransomware, no, I wouldn’t bother to report it. This is because I am aware the reality is that there is zero chance of tracking these individuals down. Think about it for a minute. How can they? Most malware/ransomware originates overseas and from countries where there would be next to no chance of extradition.

    The best thing to do is to protect yourself and arm yourself with the knowledge that is going to protect you from internet fraud. You are the weakest link here and you need to be aware of the weaknesses in software/web browsers and your current computing practices so that you can find ways to improve your security and make it harder for malware writers.

  2. This type of thing will continue to happen until authorities all over the world get together and do something. I have a small business and one of my overseas customer and I were a victim of a very sophisticated internet/email scam that the criminals got a total of $96K before we figured out what had happened. I contacted the Secret Service as advised by my bank, the FBI and various local authorities and my ISP. No one could/would do anything. The Secret Service and FBI both said they could do nothing and would not investigate since it involved an overseas company and overseas banks even though I am a USA company and have a USA bank. I had all kinds of bank info and email info on what had happened and the criminals even came back again a few months later and tried their scam again (in a slightly different way) and I contacted authorities again to try to catch them. Again, no help.
    That is why these criminals keep doing this type of thing because it is so profitable and no consequences. They know they will not be caught and that no one will even try.

  3. I hear about this re-engineering , when the ransom is paid follow the money and include a virus in the payment that
    wrecks their computers. In this day of internet criminals, all countries should combine and form a special force that can enter any country and arrest these criminals

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