A task force of 60+ experts from industry, government, nonprofits, and academia calls on the US and allies to take steps to fight a surge in ransomware attacks 

A task force of more than 60 experts from industry, government, nonprofits and academia is urging the U.S. government and global allies to take immediate steps to stem a growing global crisis of cyberattacks in which hackers seize computer systems and data in exchange for a ransom. 

The group, which issued a report today, says swift, coordinated action can disrupt and deter the growing threat of cyberattacks that use ransomware, a malicious software that locks up computer systems so that criminals can demand ransom in exchange for access.

“We’re seeing critical parts of the economy being hit by ransomware, including, for example, health care in particular,” says task force co-chair Megan Stifel, executive director of Americas at the Global Cyber Alliance. “When you start to see a broad scale of victims across multiple elements of the economy being hit there can ultimately, if not abated, be catastrophic consequences.”