US Bans Exports of Computer Hacking Devices to Russia and China

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Wednesday a new regulation banning the export of hacking technology tools to countries such as Russia and China, amid a sharp increase in cyber attacks.

This regulation, which will come into effect within the next 90 days, will prevent the sale of certain software or tools to a number of countries, unless the sale is approved by the Department of Commerce.

“America is against the misuse of technology that violates human rights, or any other dangerous cyber activity. These new regulations will ensure American companies do not encourage authoritarian practices,” the Commerce Department statement said.

This announcement comes a few days after US government data showed that until mid-2021, ransom payments for ransomware which was reported to be 590 million dollars. This is the highest ransom payment amount and beats the value of the payouts of all previous decades.

This number is also 42 percent higher than the value disclosed by financial institutions for all crimes ransomware that occurred in 2020, the Finance Department report said. There are strong indications the cost could actually be in the billions of dollars, the report added.

Although Russia refuses to take responsibility, most attacks ransomware what happened to America recently was carried out by a Russian-speaking hacker group, or operating from Russian territory.

Under this new Commerce Department regulation, those wishing to sell to places deemed to be “countries with low levels of national security or possessing weapons of mass destruction,” or countries that have been subject to an arms embargo, must first obtain a permit.

The US and Israel have a large share of the market selling cybersecurity products. [jm/em]

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