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Russian-speaking crime forums are signaling a ransomware retreat, whether they mean it or not. Ireland says it won't pay a ransom holding its public health care system hostage. And lawmakers want more transparency from federal agencies on battling foreign hackers. This is CyberScoop for May 17, 2021.

Russian criminal forums feel the heat after Colonial Pipeline

It’s not business as usual on Russian-speaking crime forums following a ransomware attack on the biggest U.S. pipeline operator. One prominent forum has claimed to ban the sale of ransomware, and there were reports that the group suspected of the pipeline hack had closed up shop. Such statements are notoriously unreliable and often self-serving PR stunts, but it’s clear that the outrage over the pipeline shutdown is having ripple effects. Sean Lyngaas has the details.

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Ransomware hampers Irish health system

Ransomware has forced Ireland’s $25 billion public health system to shut down its computers. The incident came to light on Friday and, as of Monday, Dublin was still working to bring the IT systems back online. Emergency care continues, but health officials told other patients to expect delays. Sean has more.

Tell the public more about foreign hacker fight, lawmakers say

House members pressed on Friday for the government to be more forthcoming about what federal agencies are doing to combat foreign hacking. "The cyber community can do all the good work in the world to defend critical infrastructure and networks, but if the general population doesn’t trust that work and assumes infrastructure and networks have been compromised, we still have major problems," Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., told CyberScoop after a House Armed Services Committee hearing. NSA and Cyber Command leader Gen. Paul Nakasone touted the close working relationship between his agencies, the FBI and DHS. Shannon Vavra takes a look.

North Carolina moves toward ban on ransomware payments

Here's one worth watching: North Carolina's House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to prohibit state and local agencies from paying ransomware demands or communicating with criminal actors who attempt to encrypt government networks or steal data. The ban would also apply to schools, state universities and community colleges throughout North Carolina. It would also increase the reporting requirements for covered organizations in informing the state Department of Information Technology that they’ve been the victim of a ransomware incident. Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop.

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