Foreign keyboard criminals with scant fear of repercussions have paralyzed U.S. schools and hospitals, leaked highly sensitive police files, triggered fuel shortages and, most recently, threatened global food supply chains.
The escalating havoc caused by ransomware gangs raises an obvious question: Why has the United States, believed to have the world’s greatest cyber capabilities, looked so powerless to protect its citizens from these kind of criminals operating with near impunity out of Russia and allied countries?
The answer is that there are numerous technological, legal and diplomatic hurdles to going after ransomware gangs. Until recently, it just hasn’t been a high priority for the U.S. government.
That has changed as the problem has grown well beyond an economic nuisance. President Joe Biden intends to confront Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin about Moscow’s harboring of ransomware criminals when the two men meet in Europe later this month. The Biden administration has also promised to boost defenses against attacks, improve efforts to prosecute those responsible and…