Canada joins global ransomware pledge

A global pledge to stop paying ransomware demands might force cybercriminals to whip out their whiteboards and start brainstorming some new business models.  

Driving the news: Forty countries — including Canada — have pledged to stop paying ransomware demands by hackers and take additional steps to cut off cyber criminals from funding, part of a US-led initiative to curb the global rise in ransomware attacks, per Reuters.  

  • The new initiative will include efforts to share information between countries and blacklist digital wallets that have been previously used in ransomware attacks.

Why it matters: The idea is that cutting off cyber criminals and their digital wallets will impact their ability to fund attacks. That would be a welcome development for Canadian businesses, hundreds of which have been hit by ransomware attacks in the last two years. 

  • High-profile cyberattacks targeting Canadian companies in the last year have impacted day-to-day work at Suncor, Indigo, Air Canada, Sobeys, and SickKids.

Bottom line: While these countries' governments have committed to not paying ransoms, nothing is stopping businesses from paying up to avoid the reputational damage of these attacks, a choice that approximately two-thirds of Canadian companies made last year.—LA