Paying ransomware demands could land you in hot water with the feds
Businesses, governments, and organizations that are hit by crippling ransomware attack..
Businesses, governments, and organizations that are hit by crippling ransomware attacks now have a new worry to contend with—big fines from the US Department of Treasury in the event that they pay to recover their data.
Treasury Department officials made that guidance official in an advisory published on Thursday. It warns that payments made to specific entities or to any entity in certain countries—specifically, those with a designated “sanctions nexus”—could subject the payer to financial penalties levied by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC.
The prohibition applies not only to the group that is infected but also to any companies or contractors the hacked groups security or insurance engages with, including those who provide insurance, digital forensics, and incident response, as well as all financial services that help facilitate or process ransom payments.
“Facilitating a ransomware payment that is demanded as a result of malicious cyber activities may enable criminals and adversaries with a sanctions nexus to profit and advance their illicit aims,” the advisory stated. “For example, ransomware payments made to sanctioned persons or to comprehensively sanctioned jurisdictions could be used to fund activities adverse to the national security and foreign policy objectives of the United States. Ransomware payments may also embolden cyber actors to engage in future attacks. In addition, paying a ransom to cyber actors does not guarantee that the victim will regain access to its stolen data.”
Under law, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging directly or indirectly in transactions with people or organizations on the OFACs Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, other prohibited lists, or in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and other countries or regions. In recent years, the Treasury Department has added several known cyber-threat groups to its designation list. They include:
- Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, the developer of Cryptolocker, an early ransomware variant that the OFAC says infected more than 234,000 computers, half of them in the United States
- Two Iranian nationals behind SamSam, the ransomware that crippled the city of Atlanta in 2018
- Individuals and groups connected to Lazarus Group, a hacker group sponsored by North Korea that US intelligence groups say was behind the WannaCry attacks that shut down computers worldwide
- “Evil Corp.,” a Russia-based criminal organization whose leader was indicted last year for allegedly using the notorious Dridex malware to drain more than $70 million from bank accounts in the US, UK, and elsewhere
To pay or not to pay?
Law enforcement officials and security consultants have generally advised against paying ransomware demands because the payments only fund and encourage new attacks. Unfortunately, paying the ransom is often the fastest and least-expensive way to recover. The City of Baltimore incurred a loss of more than $18 million after it was locked out of its IT systems. Attackers behind the ransomware had demanded $70,000. In response, some companies claiming to offer incident-response services for ransomware attacks simply pay the attackers.
Thursday's advisory didn't say that people are prohibited in all cases from paying ransoms.
"Under OFACs Enforcement Guidelines, OFAC will also consider a companys self-initiated, timely, and complete report of a ransomware attack to law enforcement to be a significant mitigating factor in determining an appropriate enforcement outcome if the situation is later determined to have a sanctions nexus. OFAC will also consider a companys full and timely cooperation witRead More – Source
How does technology affect reading and writing?
Technology has dramatically changed the way we read and write in the 21st century. From e-books and online articles to social media and instant messaging, technology has made reading and writing more accessible and convenient. However, it has also brought about new challenges and concerns.
One of the biggest benefits of technology is the increased access to information. With just a few clicks, people can access an endless supply of books, articles, and other written materials from all over the world. This has made reading and writing more accessible for people who may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past. It has also allowed for greater collaboration, as people can now share their writing and receive feedback from a global audience.
Technology has also made writing and reading more interactive. Social media and blogs have made it possible for people to engage with written content in real-time, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others. This has led to a more dynamic and engaged reading and writing community, with people able to communicate and connect with each other in new and meaningful ways.
However, there are also concerns about how technology is affecting our ability to read and write. One of the biggest concerns is the decline of attention span. With so much information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and absorb what we are reading. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on longer written works, and are instead drawn to shorter, more bite-sized pieces of content.
Additionally, technology has led to an increase in informal writing. The widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging has led to the widespread use of shorthand and abbreviations. This has created concerns about the impact it may have on people’s writing skills, as well as the way they communicate with others.
Another concern is the rise of “fake news.” With the ease of publishing content online, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources. This has led to a decline in trust in the media, and has created a need for critical thinking and media literacy skills.
Despite these concerns, technology has also provided new opportunities for writing and reading. E-books and online platforms have made it easier for people to self-publish their work, giving them greater control over the distribution and promotion of their writing. This has created a more democratized publishing industry, and has made it possible for voices and perspectives that may have previously been excluded to be heard.
In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on reading and writing. While there are certainly challenges and concerns, the increased access to information, the ability to connect and engage with others, and the opportunities for self-publishing have all made reading and writing more accessible and dynamic. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address the challenges it presents and embrace the opportunities it provides.
How to measure human intelligence?
Measuring human intelligence is a complex task that has been attempted by many experts and researchers over the years. Intelligence is often defined as an individual’s ability to think, reason, and solve problems. However, this definition is not enough to capture all the aspects of intelligence. In this article, we will look at some of the ways that human intelligence can be measured and evaluated.
- Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests: IQ tests are the most commonly used method of measuring intelligence. They are designed to measure an individual’s ability to solve problems, think logically, and understand abstract concepts. The results of an IQ test are expressed as an IQ score, which is a number that represents a person’s intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population.
- Achievement Tests: Achievement tests are designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in specific subjects such as mathematics, reading, or science. These tests can be a good indicator of a person’s intelligence in a particular subject area and are often used in schools and colleges to assess students’ abilities.
- Neuropsychological Tests: Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate the functioning of the brain and nervous system. These tests can be used to diagnose neurological disorders, measure cognitive abilities, and determine the impact of injury or illness on a person’s cognitive abilities.
- Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental abilities such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s potential for learning and development.
- Behavioral Assessment: Behavioral assessment involves evaluating an individual’s behavior, including their social skills, emotional regulation, and communication abilities. This type of assessment can be useful in identifying areas where an individual may need support or intervention.
- Performance-Based Tests: Performance-based tests are designed to measure an individual’s abilities in real-world tasks and activities. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s practical intelligence and can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.
It is important to note that no single method of measuring intelligence is perfect and each has its own strengths and limitations. Additionally, the results of intelligence tests can be influenced by many factors such as cultural background, education, and experience. As a result, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence.
In conclusion, measuring human intelligence is a complex task that involves evaluating a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and performance-based abilities. While intelligence tests can provide valuable information about a person’s intellectual abilities, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence. By using a combination of tests, experts and researchers can get a more complete picture of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential for learning and development.
The best children’s movies to watch on Netflix
Before the 1950s there were only two types of films, those for adults and those for children, it is since then films for boys have become a respectable cinematographic trend. Family, study, sexuality, love, rejection, growth of an ego no longer willing to come to terms with the will of others (especially adults), originality, over the years, teen movies have become the spokesperson for the present of their target, bringing at the cinema what the kids of one era after another wanted to see.
From action-packed special effects to the exploration of sexual identity, from makeover movies to first love dramas, to animated films and anime, there are many unmissable children’s titles. On Netflix there is a good selection, here are the ones to watch.
Little Women by Greta Gerwig
Although in the Netflix catalog there is also the version with Winona Ryder from 1994, we choose the one with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Florence Pugh by Greta Gerwig from 2019 because, even if remaining faithful to Louisa May-Alcott’s classic and not abandoning the costumes, better approaches in spirit and staging to a more contemporary filmic language.
The narration is entrusted to Jo (Ronan), who tells her story at the March house and that of her very different sisters. The great protagonist of this narrative but we can say of Little Women in general – is Amy, in whose shoes there is an amazing Florence Pugh. No baby-girl-boy-girl etc. can remain without ever having read or seen this cult.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, by Ian Samuels
Sierra Burgess is a Loser is a teen-comedy that tells the hard life of a not-so-IT teenager at school. Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) is a very intelligent and somewhat nerdy young woman who ends up the (voluntary) victim of an identity mistake. Jamey, the most popular boy in school starts sending her a series of messages thinking he’s writing them to cheerleader Veronica. Once the exchange is discovered, however, she is unable to tell him, and so sets up a real parallel relationship.
Spirited Away and all Studio Ghibli films
At the announcement that all Studio Ghibli’s animated cult films from Porco Rosso to My Neighbor Totoro had been included in the Netflix catalogue, we could only rejoice in profound joy. The films of the studio founded by Miyazaki, on the other hand, are little jewels of plot and staging, full of deep meanings and the result of boundless imagination. Watch them all. With the little ones have fun with Ponyo on the cliff, with the older ones let yourself be carried away by the wonderful stories of Kiki’s home deliveries, Howl’s moving castle or The enchanted city, but also by the amazing heroines of Princess Mononoke or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Getting to know, seeing and re-watching the Studio Ghibli-Miyazaki films is a gift that you give yourself and you will give to those who don’t know them yet.
Mowgli – Son of the Jungle, by Andy Serkis
This Netflix adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic is certainly not suitable for the little ones, but for grown-up kids. Forget the dancing bears and the tunes of the Disney animated version, Mowgli – Son of the Jungle is a ruthless and dark film about diversity and acceptance. The story is known, Mowgli was still a baby when he was stolen by the panther Bagheera from the clutches of the bloodthirsty tiger Shere Khan who had just exterminated an entire village of humans. Entrusted to the care of a family of wolves, Mowgli grows up thinking he is one of them, but it will only be through the famous ‘hunting test’ that he will be able to prove whether he is worthy of remaining in the pack.
Harry Potter – the saga
The world of Hogwarts and the most famous wizard ever arrived for Christmas in streaming, immediately positioning itself among the most viewed titles. From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 and 2: all 8 films in the saga are available on Netflix, to watch and watch again while waiting for some news.
Read more from the source Grazia
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