US Senator Warren introduces a bill to study the role of encryption in ransomware

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As cryptocurrency continues to be adopted in the US, lawmakers want to better understand how to use it – for both legal and illegal purposes.

The Ransom Disclosure Act, introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Deborah Ross, will require victims of ransomware attacks to disclose information about ransom payments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The bill, which was introduced on October 5, aims to collect critical data on cash and cryptocurrency payments and protect investors from cybercrime.

In an ongoing effort to curb illicit financial activities in the United States, Senator Warren’s legislation aims to develop a “full picture” of ransomware attacks:

“My bill with Congressman Ross will set disclosure requirements when the ransom is paid and allow us to see how much money cybercriminals withdraw from US entities to fund criminal enterprises — and help us pursue them.”

The bill will also support a study to find links between cryptocurrencies and their role in ransomware attacks, led by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The information collected will be used to make recommendations to improve the country’s cybersecurity.

As noted by Congresswoman Ross, US investors have not yet been asked to report ransomware payments, which, according to her, is key to countering ransomware attacks. She said the new legislation “will implement important reporting requirements, including the amount of the ransom demanded and paid and the type of currency used.”

The bill would require victims of ransomware in the United States to disclose a ransom within 48 hours of payment through a website created by the Department of Homeland Security.

Related: Small business advocacy group recommends US Congress “clarify the state of digital assets”

As federal authorities continue to introduce bills to regulate the crypto market, a joint report by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urges Congress to “clarify the state of digital assets to make clear when they are safe.”

Moreover, a bill recently passed from October 4, the Digital Token Clarity Act of 2021, requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be a safe haven for certain token projects. The bill, proposed by Representative Patrick McHenry, proposed an amendment to the Securities Act of 1933 that would allow enterprises to offer cryptocurrency tokens without registering with the authorities for up to three years.