US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said that the department will give investigations into ransomware malware attacks a priority similar to that the department gives to terrorism cases, after the cyber attack that penetrated the Colonial Pipeline network last month, and after the damages increased. caused by cyber crime.
An internal US Department of Justice circular sent Thursday to prosecutors across the country stated that information on investigations into malware attacks must be centrally coordinated with a newly formed task force in Washington, which means that investigators in prosecutors’ offices in various US regions will have to raise various information. regarding this type of cyber attack to the federal authorities in the capital.
“It’s a specialized process to ensure that all cases of malware attacks are traced back, so that we can learn the connections between the perpetrators, and work to disrupt the whole chain,” Karlin told Reuters of the task of responding to malware attacks.
US officials say the Justice Department’s decision to deal with ransomware-related malware attacks in this way demonstrates the priority the Department is now giving the matter.
“We’ve used this model before in dealing with terrorism, but we’ve never done that with malware attacks,” Carlin said.
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The Colonial Pipeline network, which operates an 8,900 km pipeline on the east coast of America, was stopped due to the most dangerous cyber attack ever, which prevented the flow of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the Gulf of Mexico coast to the east coast for several days, and led to a significant rise Gas prices, long queues at gas stations, and a tight diesel supply in the southeastern United States.
The US company said it had decided to pay the attackers who hacked its systems nearly $5 million to regain control of the network.
A group specializing in combating cyber-attacks said US authorities believe that hackers into the operating systems of Colonial Pipeline operated from Russia.