New York state senators have proposed two bills that would require government agencies to tell ransomware attackers to get lost.
The first bill, S7246, was proposed by Senator Phil Boyle on 14 January. The bill would keep government hands out of taxpayers’ pockets, restricting the use of taxpayer moneys when it comes to small cities or towns – with populations under 1 million – paying off attackers with tax money. If passed, it would also set up a $5 million fund to help overhaul the IT infrastructures of such small towns. From the bill, now under discussion in committee : The Cyber Security Enhancement Fund that will make available grants and financial assistance to villages, towns, and cities with a population of one million or less for the purpose of upgrading the cyber security of their local government. The second bill, S7289, was introduced by Senator David Carlucci two days later, on 16 January. It would prohibit government agencies from paying ransom in the event of a cyberattack against their critical infrastructures.
We don’t want to keep doing this, the bill says. We don’t want to keep rewarding these crooks for these attacks.