Faced with hacking attacks, the US State Department will set up a cyber office

State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC, United States, August 18, 2021. Andrew Harnik / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

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WASHINGTON, October 25 (Reuters) – The US State Department plans to create an office for cyberspace and digital policy in response to a growing problem of hacking, particularly a wave of ransomware attacks on US infrastructure.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said a Senate-confirmed ambassador would head the office.

Hackers have hit many US businesses this year.

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One of these attacks on the Colonial Pipeline pipeline operator resulted in temporary fuel supply shortages on the east coast of the United States. The hackers also targeted an Iowa-based farming company, raising fears of disruptions to the Midwestern grain harvest.

Two weeks ago, the Treasury Department said suspected ransomware payments totaling $ 590 million were made in the first six months of this year. He has alerted the cryptocurrency industry to its role in combating ransomware attacks. Read more

Price said the State Department would also establish a new Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies “to lead the immediate technology diplomacy agenda.”

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Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Arshad Mohammed and Simon Lewis; Editing by Howard Goller

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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