(FreedomBeacon.com)- Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, is so concerned about the recent ransomware attacks on American businesses and government agencies that he considers them a similar challenge to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
It’s a bold statement and perhaps something that can be argued on technicality, but there’s no denying that the ransomware attacks largely coming from Russian hacking gangs pose a gigantic threat to American security, even if it doesn’t immediately result in the deaths of thousands of Americans like during the 9/11 attacks.
During an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Wray said that there are a “lot of parallels” between the two incidents, and said that there is a shared responsibility across the private sector and government departments. He even said that average Americans have a responsibility to fight back against ransomware and hacking.
He explained that the FBI has investigated roughly 100 kinds of ransomware attack and that most are traced back to Russia.
Most recently, the United States was hit by a ransomware attack against JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company. Before that, the Colonial pipeline ransomware attack left the East coast of the United States scrambling for fuel as the pipeline was shut down and reportedly forced to pay $5 million in ransom to Russian hackers.
That’s the incident that President Joe Biden refused to confirm or deny that Russians are paid out to end the cyberattack.
Biden when asked if he was briefed on Colonial Pipeline Co. paying ransom to attackers:
"I have no comment on that." pic.twitter.com/dMH0QuzV6I
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 13, 2021
Do you think President Trump would have just stayed quiet on that?
The comments from FBI Director Wray come as the Justice Department is reportedly considering elevating the investigations of hacking and ransomware attacks to give them the same priority as terrorism investigations – a move that could potentially discourage further attacks and better equip the United States to deal with them when they happen.