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Legislature Addresses Ransomware Threat With Criminal Penalties

It is fitting that on the first day of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, new legislation takes effect regarding one of the most destructive types of malware.  In response to the rapidly increasing rate of computer extortion cases, the Connecticut Legislature has joined several states in creating a statute specifically targeting ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents access to information in a computer system until a ransom is paid.

“An Act Concerning Computer Extortion by Use of Ransomware” goes into effect on October 1, 2017.  Under the Act, the use of ransomware is a class E felony, which provides for up to three years of imprisonment, a fine of $3,500, or both. Previously, computer extortion was prosecuted under established statutes regarding computer crimes, computer-related offenses, and extortion, as well as the penalties associated with those crimes.

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About this Author

Dena Castricone, Murtha Cullina Law Firm, Privacy and Cybersecurity Attorney
Partner

Dena M. Castricone is a member of the Long Term Care and Health Care practice groups.  She is the Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group and the Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.  Prior to joining Murtha Cullina, Dena served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Frank J. Williams.

Dena’s long term care and health care clients compete in a constantly evolving industry, facing both rising administrative and regulatory burdens and shrinking reimbursement rates. She helps skilled nursing centers, physician groups, home health and...

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