Capitol Notes

New York could ban cyber ransom payments

Businesses and governments in New York that are victims of cyber attacks in the future may have no choice but to play hardball with their digital perpetrators.

Legislation introduced Tuesday by Senate Internet and Technology Committee Chair Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, would prohibit government entities, businesses and health care organizations from paying cyber ransoms or having the ransoms paid on their behalf. Any cyber ransom attempts would need to be reported to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and entities could face a $10,000 fine if they pay a ransom.

“This bill is a first step in preventing these attacks in New York,” reads the bill memorandum. “Government, business and healthcare funding would be better-used securing sensitive data, encrypting and backing up data, conducting regular cyber-security audits, and training staff to avoid exposing networks.”

A companion bill has not been introduced in the state Assembly.


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