One of the greatest threats to private cybersecurity today is ransomware — a cyberattack that blocks access to a computer until the hacker is paid a ransom. The problem recently took on new urgency when a hospital in Los Angeles had its entire network shut down for hours, putting hundreds at risk; another high-profile breach hit L.A.’s health department last week. William Brangham reports.
Though prosecutors do have existing tools and have brought international cybertheft cases in the past year, the Justice Department says a new law is needed at a time when criminals operating largely in Eastern Europe are able to gobble up millions of stolen credit card numbers and commit widespread fraud in a matter of mouse clicks. Companies and banks, too, have been stung by faraway hackers who have siphoned away personal information. Continue reading
Nearly seven months after announcing a new emphasis on digital security, the Obama administration has tapped a veteran of both eBay and Microsoft to lead the nation’s military and civilian cybersecurity efforts. Howard Schmidt, who served as a cybersecurity advisor … Continue reading