F.B.I. Director Compares Danger of Ransomware to 9/11 Terror Threat

F.B.I. Director Compares Danger of Ransomware to 9/11 Terror Threat

Posted June 3, 2021

F.B.I. Director Compares Danger of Ransomware to 9/11 Terror Threat

  • Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday that the ransomware threat was comparable to the challenge of global terrorism in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack.
  • “There are a lot of parallels, there’s a lot of importance, and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention,” Mr. Wray said. “There’s a shared responsibility, not just across government agencies but across the private sector and even the average American.”
  • The F.B.I. is investigating 100 different software variants that have been used in various ransomware attacks, demonstrating the scale of the problem.
  • While most ransomware attacks are carried out by criminal networks, some Russian and Chinese groups operate with the implicit blessing of their governments. In return, some criminal groups do work for those country’s spy agencies and take steps to make sure local companies are not affected.
  • “If the Russian government wants to show that it’s serious about this issue, there’s a lot of room for them to demonstrate some real progress that we’re not seeing right now,” Mr. Wray said.

– Julian E. Barnes | June 3, 2021