- The FBI issued a confidential advisory on Friday asking business and IT security experts to help it track down a new ransomware virus, according to a Reuters report.
- The new ransomware, known as MSIL/Samas.A, is possibly the first virus to encrypt data on entire networks rather than one computer at a time.
- The federal government has increasingly called on the private sector for help with cybersecurity issues, but the private sector is also concerned with protecting privacy.
The FBI’s advisory asked people to contact the FBI's CYWATCH cyber center if they have any information that could help in its investigation. The agency first reported on MSIL/Samas.A in a Feb. 18 alert that contained some technical details but did not call for help. In its latest report, the FBI said that investigators have since found hackers can remotely install the ransomware on computers across a network.
By notifying companies of the potential risk of ransomware infection, the FBI hopes to reduce the number of future attacks.
Friday’s alert is the latest in a series of FBI advisories and warnings from security researchers about new ransomware tools and techniques. The federal government has increasingly been asking the private sector for help with cybersecurity issues.
In early March, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited tech companies in Silicon Valley and Seattle as part of ongoing efforts to recruit their help in federal cybersecurity efforts. Some U.S. authorities have encouraged threat intelligence information sharing between the private companies and the federal government.