How America Can Reliably Resist Ransomware

A laptop displays a message after being infected by a ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack on in Geldrop. ROB ENGELAAR/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

How America Can Reliably Resist Ransomware
National Public Radio: 1A, September 27, 2021
By Jenn White

“So, what can government and business leaders do to combat these attacks? And who’s responsible for improving our cybersecurity?”


The Biden Administration is attempting to curtail an uptick in ransomware attacks on American businesses. Just last week, an Iowa grain co-operative was hit by a cyberattack by hacking group BlackMatter demanding $5.9 million dollars.


In June, the world’s largest meat processing company was hit by a ransomware group and paid $11 million dollars to resume its operations. And in May, the Colonial Pipeline Company was attacked, disrupting gas supplies to the east coast for a week.


These attacks are indeed becoming more frequent. According to the Treasury Department, ransomware payments exceeded $400 million last year – more than four times higher than in 2019.


So, what can government and business leaders do to combat these attacks? And who’s responsible for improving our cybersecurity?


Dustin Volz, Megan Stifel, Maurice Turner, and Eric Goldstein join us for the conversation.

Listen to the podcast »

About the Host & Guests:

  • Jenn White (Host): Jenn White is the host of 1A. A seasoned journalist and podcast host, Jenn has worked in public radio since 1999. She came to ​1A​ from Chicago’s WBEZ where, she was host of ​Reset with Jenn White​ and, before that, host of ​The Morning Shift. ​She is also a familiar voice on several WBEZ podcasts, including ​Making Oprah​, ​Making Obama​ and 16 Shots​, which chronicled the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. White was the local host of ​All Things Considered​ at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. ​​A native of Detroit and graduate of the University of Michigan, Jenn spent time in Chicago and now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two dogs.
  • Dustin Volz (Guest): Wall Street Journal reporter covering cyber and intelligence. Priors w/ @Reuters and @nationaljournal. I write about a lot of three-letter agencies.
  • Megan Stifel (Guest): Atty & SHC founder: strategic cyber & security policy & counsel. Fmr Hill, DOJ/NSD&CRM, NSC44.
  • Maurice Turner (Guest): #Cybersecurity Fellow @SecureDemocracy @GMFUS, Technologist, Bureaucrat, Traveler, @Georgetown, @USC, @CSUF, ex: @EACgov, @CenDemTech, @CongressFellows.
  • Eric Goldstein (Guest): CyberSecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity,

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