FBI’s Advice on Ransomware? Just Pay The Ransom.
The FBI wants companies to know that the Bureau is there for them if they are hacked. But if that hack involves Cryptolocker, Cryptowall or other forms of ransomware, the nation’s top law enforcement agency is warning companies that they may not be able to get their data back without paying a ransom.
“The ransomware is that good,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s CYBER and Counterintelligence Program in its Boston office. “To be honest, we often advise people just to pay the ransom.”
Bonavolonta echoed that advice in his remarks on Wednesday, but also cautioned that the Bureau may not be able to pry encrypted data from the clutches of the ransomware authors, who use ultra secure encryption algorithms to lock up ransomed data.
“The easiest thing may be to just pay the ransom,”Bonavolonta, who said that efforts by the Bureau and others to defeat the encryption used by the malware did not bear fruit. “The amount of money made by these criminals is enormous and that’s because the overwhelming majority of institutions just pay the ransom.”