Would banning Bitcoin solve the problem of ransomware attacks?

Cybercrime is an international problem, and a lot of these digital hostage-takers demand payment in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Photo by Shutterstock.

Last month’s cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline created 1970s-style gas lines across the Southeastern United States for days. The world’s largest meat processor saw its supply chain disrupted by a cyberattack on Tuesday. And today a ransomware attack disrupted ferry service in Massachusetts between Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

The city of Azusa acknowledged Friday that its police department had been the victim of a ransomware attack that it kept quiet for months.

This kind of cybercrime is an international problem, and a lot of these digital hostage-takers demand payment in cryptocurrency. Think Bitcoin, Ethererum, and Dogecoin.

“When we hear about ransomware and criminals demanding payment in crypto, we need to remember crime was sort of the original point of cryptocurrency,” says Jacob Goldstein, co-host of NPR’s Planet Money.

Credits

Guest:

  • Jacob Goldstein - co-host of NPR’s Planet Money podcast and author of “Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing”