Plenary Session 8: Crypto Currencies and Ransomware
In 2021, authorities, industry, and the public saw a dramatic increase in publicly acknowledged ransomware attacks. From critical infrastructure to healthcare systems to local governments, the attacks are growing more severe and frequent and no sector or industry seems invulnerable to these attacks. Cryptocurrency has been the payment means of choice by many of the attackers, raising questions as to whether cryptocurrency is an enabler of such attacks and what can be done in response. In the case of Colonial Pipeline, the US Government was able to trace and recoup much of the payment. With the rise in ransomware and the adoption of cryptocurrency in the legitimate economy, how should regulators, financial institutions, law enforcement, and the virtual asset community respond? Are there avenues of creative partnership to address these risks, and what can be done to ensure hackers find it more difficult to profit from ransomware?