Now, the state needs to actually arrest someone for it
Ransomware is now officially extortion in California.
Deliberately hacking someone’s computer is already a federal crime, of course, and deploying ransomware — a malicious program that encrypts a computer’s files, usually demanding a bitcoin ransom to restore them — clearly falls under that category. But California’s SB-1137,signed into law Tuesday evening by Governor Jerry Brown, is believed to be the first law that specifically expands the state’s law against extortion to include ransomware.
The bill’s support in the California Senate was buoyed by testimony from one of the first high-profile ransomware victims, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where operations were largely shut down by a ransomware infection. The attackers relented when the hospital coughed up a $17,000 payment.