Laptop locked by ransomware

Calls for paying ransom to hackers to be made illegal

Over the past few years, various public bodies have been the target of ransomware attacks, most notably, the NHS was attacked in 2017 by ransomware called Wannacry.

Since then, the National Cyber Security Centre has warned educational bodies to protect themselves by employing preventative measure to ensure that they are not made an easy target by unscrupulous people.

Speaking on BBC News earlier, former head of NCSC Ciaran Martin warned that by paying ransoms, victims are inadvertently encouraging hackers to carry out more of these attacks because they become more lucrative.

Martin said he would be open to the idea of legislation around this being reviewed to possibly make it an offence to pay the ransoms on such attacks.

He advised any organisation to make sure they were protected by making themselves hard targets for these kind of attacks, so that the hack just simply isn’t worth their time.

The main problem with ransomware attacks is that they force the victims to either pay the money or risk having their data encrypted forever, or even destroyed.

As the law currently stands it is only illegal if the hackers are affiliated with a terrorist organisation, meaning that if they are a lone-wolf hacker, it is not illegal to pay the ransom.

PSE June/July Cover

PSE June/July 21

Looking to the future

Our June/July 2021 edition of PSE delves into a number of key issues facing our public sector, including how we rebuild services, the move to a more digital way of working and the growing climate emergency, diving into real-world examples of success from those who are achieving them across our sector.

Videos...

View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation

Be A Part Of It!

Save The Date: 9th September 2021
PSE365: Public Sector Decarboniation Event

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Magazine Feature

Keep communities at the heart of planning

Chris Borg, NALC policy manager

Chris Borg discusses the Planning for the Future white paper and explains the importance of residents and local councils having a say when it comes to planning

More articles...

View all