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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 18, 2018 02:40 PM
From: Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Concerning Computer Extortion by Use of Ransomware
In the near future I plan on introducing legislation to create a third class felony offense for computer extortion involving ransomware.

Last year the FBI registered that Internet fraudsters targeted Pennsylvanian’s at least 11,300 times for $36.3 million. Most of these were affected by a ransomware attack, which is when a hacker locks a victim’s data and promises to release it after a ransom is paid. Currently, there is no law in Pennsylvania that prohibits this from occurring.

Under my legislation the actions punishable by law include introducing ransomware into a computer, computer system, or computer network and demanding payment to:
  • Remove the ransomware;
  • Restore access to the computer, system, or network or data contained therein; or
  • Otherwise remediate the ransomware's impact.
Innocent Pennsylvanian’s are being taken advantage of and our state laws do not provided with any type of criminal remedy against their attackers. Please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation to help protect thousands of Pennsylvanian’s from being taken advantage of.

Introduced as SB1228