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U.S. lawmakers are deciding whether to move forward with legislation around ransomware, which is the subject of a new CyberScoop special report. Police in South Korea arrested a hacking suspect. And bad news for financial crime-stoppers. This is CyberScoop for March 10, 2020.

Congress has mounting incentives to pass ransomware legislation

Congress watchers see momentum for ransomware legislation in the current two-year session. It's not a subject lawmakers have done much on, to date: Just one bill signed into law last year included the word "ransomware." But attacks are hitting home in congressional districts, and that could spur lawmakers to take action. Some bills are already in the works, and more are yet to come. Tim Starks surveys the landscape.

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South Korean cops arrest GandCrab suspect

Remember GandCrab, the prolific ransomware strain that petered out in 2019? Two years later, South Korean police have announced an arrest of one of the alleged distributors of the malicious code. The unnamed suspect is accused of sending thousands of GandCrab-laced emails, and netting $10,500 in the process. Sean Lyngaas has more.

Ransomware strikes Spanish employment agency

With Spain reeling from its highest jobless rate in years, a ransomware attack on the agency charged with distributing unemployment benefits couldn’t have come at a worse time. Fortunately, for now, it appears that the incident did not affect the distribution of benefits. But it forced the rescheduling of hundreds of thousands of appointments at the agency, according to a Spanish labor union. Sean has the story.

Ransomware: A CyberScoop Special Report

If cyberspace were a playing field, then ransomware attackers would be running up the score. Since 2016, when hackers held a California hospital hostage, a generation of scammers have relied on digital extortion to demand payouts from Fortune 500 firms, medical facilities, government targets like towns and schools, and a diverse set of small and medium sized businesses. In a series of editorial stories, CyberScoop examines how the federal government — from Congress to the FBI — are grappling with the problem, and how to solve it. Look for more soon here.

Scammers who lurk in cash registers make an unwelcome return

A financially-motivated hacking group that appeared to drop off the map a year-and-a-half ago is back with a new and improved backdoor, according to BitDefender research published Wednesday. The FIN8 group has primarily targeted companies in retail, technology, chemical and insurance industries with its updated point-of-sale malware, and has compromised organizations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Panama and Italy, according to the research. FIN8, which FireEye researchers first observed in operation in 2016, has historically targeted organizations in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries with emails containing malicious Microsoft Word documents. Shannon Vavra is on the case.

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