Can We Ban Ransomware By Law?It is an interesting solution to explore, that much is certain. While California has built a reputation for creating new laws which are eventually spread nationwide, they may not see big success with their newest proposal. According to the LA Times, there are plans on the table to draft a law against ransomware.
According to the Senate Bill 1137 proposal, “knowingly introducing ransomware will be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail”. The jail sentence for such an offense can range from two to your four years. Additionally, there will be a fine attached to this sentence, albeit the amount will not exceed US$10,000. All in all, these guidelines are not out of the ordinary for an offense potentially impacting thousands of computer users.
People who have been paying close attention to the ransomware industry will remember the attack against the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. The institution was forced to pay US$17,000 in Bitcoin to resume its services as normal. Other health care centers and companies have been the victim of ransomware attacks as well.
Although this bill may have a good chance of being written into law, the process will take some time. Then again, this particular bill has the backing of various tech giants, including Facebook, Apple, and Google. Despite that backing, there is no guarantee Governor Jerry Brown will not veto the bill. Some of the proposal’s opponents are pointing out how prosecutors have enough tools to make their case, and would not need this additional “power’.
The biggest question is how California lawmakers will succeed in catching ransomware creators and distributors. Most of these attacks originate from the deep web, which users access through privacy-protecting software. Moreover, what about attacks originating from regions where the US has no jurisdiction? These are all questions that need to be answered sooner rather than later.