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Megan Brown Discusses President Trump’s Cybersecurity EO Following Global Ransomware Attack

Communications Daily
May 16, 2017

Megan L. Brown, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media & Technology and Privacy & Cybersecurity practices, was quoted by Communications Daily in a May 16 article regarding the recent WannaCry ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. While no federal agencies were impacted by the virus, government officials may feel the need to update IT systems in light of President Trump’s May 11 Executive Order (EO) on cybersecurity, according to the article. Ransomware is a type of computer virus that encrypts files on an infected computer and then holds the files hostage until the computer’s owner pays a fee. If no fee is paid, the files are eventually deleted.

While ransomware attacks are not emphasized in the cybersecurity EO, “it wouldn’t surprise me if agencies feel obliged” to address ransomware vulnerabilities “in various and sundry ways,” said Ms. Brown. She pointed to language in the EO directing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Commerce to research ways to “promote action by appropriate stakeholders to improve the resilience of the Internet and communications ecosystem and to encourage collaboration with the goal of dramatically reducing threats perpetrated by” botnets.