Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signs bill making possession of ransomware a crime


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is going after people who sell and deal in ransomware. Ransomware is software that is designed to infiltrate and take over a target computer encrypting all of its files. Once the ransomware is in place and the files are locked down, the user will see a message on their display. This message can be whatever the ransomware developer wants to display. Most of the time it tells the user that they are locked out of their computer and must pay to gain access. This new legislation signed by Rick Snyder makes even owing ransomware in the state of Michigan a criminal act.

The law makes the possession of ransomware a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, according to a statement on the governor’s website. A person must “knowingly” possess ransomware “with the intent to introduce it into a computer or computer network without authorization,” according to the statement.

The new laws are supposed to help law enforcement go after the creators of ransomware in an effort to stop the software from getting into the hands of those who execute it.

“This, in theory, should make it easier for state authorities to go after suspected ransomware developers, affiliates, and others involved in Ransomware-as-a-Service operations,” according to Bleeping Computer, a website that reports on malware outbreaks.

Ransomware isn’t new, it has been around for many years, but it has spread recently and has the potential to become an even bigger problem. It will be interesting to see how the legislation Rick Snyder signed in Michigan works and if other governors follow suit in other states. Check out the video below, if you’re interested, to see how ransomware works.

What do you think of this new legislation in Michigan? Have you ever been the victim of ransomware? Do you think ransomware is going to spread more than it already has? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

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