Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware actors often target and threaten to sell or leak exfiltrated data or authentication information if the ransom is not paid. In recent years, ransomware incidents have become increasingly prevalent among the Nation’s state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities and critical infrastructure organizations.
Malicious actors continue to adjust and evolve their ransomware tactics over time, and CISA analysts remain vigilant in maintaining awareness of ransomware attacks and associated tactics, techniques, and procedures across the country and around the world: See CISA's Awareness Briefings on Combating Ransomware, Joint Ransomware Statement, and CISA Insights – Ransomware Outbreak.
Looking to learn more about this growing cyber threat? The NEW Ransomware Guide is a great place to start. The Guide, released in September 2020, represents a joint effort between CISA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The joint Ransomware Guide includes industry best practices and a response checklist that can serve as a ransomware-specific addendum to organization cyber incident response plans.
In January 2021, CISA unveiled the Reduce the Risk of Ransomware Campaign to raise awareness and instigate actions to combat this ongoing and evolving threat. The campaign is a focused, coordinated and sustained effort to encourage public and private sector organizations to implement best practices, tools and resources that can help them mitigate ransomware risk.
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