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Ransomware just got very real. And it's likely to get worse

There's just been another ransomware attack, but this one could have more significant consequences than the many that have come before.

Late last week, Colonial Pipeline, which accounts for 45% of the US East Coast's fuel, was forced to shut down its operations due to a ransomware attack against its systems.

Even President Biden was briefed on in the incident; it doesn't get much more high profile than that.

So will such a significant incident lead to changes in how ransomware is tackled?

Possibly, but it's worth remembering that there have been plenty of damaging and high-profile ransomware attacks across both the US, and elsewhere, without police or governments coming up with a way of tackling these gangs.

That's largely because the ransomware problem is actually a knotty set of interconnected problems, all of which defy easy solutions.

Certainly many companies need to take cybersecurity more seriously, and vendors need to focus more on selling software that is secure, and not just rushing it out to customers and (maybe) fixing it later. But forcing companies to spend money on cybersecurity with no obvious return is hard; obliging software companies to fix every fault before they ship their software would bring the industry to a halt.

By Steve Ranger on ZDNet

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