FBI Abandons Ransomware Victims

If you think the FBI will help your business recover from a ransomware attack, think again. Recently, the FBI sat on the sidelines while at least 1,500 network owners were forced to deal with ransomware attacks on their own. These organizations were forced to either pay the ransom or sacrifice their data. All the while, however, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations held the decryption key that could’ve saved millions of dollars in ransom payments and lost business data. In other words, the FBI abandons ransomware victims rather than helping them.

FBI Abandons Ransomware Victims

The Washington Post broke the story, which was later republished by ARStechnica and other technology-related websites.

Here’s a summary of what happened:

The FBI had penetrated the REvil gang’s servers to obtain the key, but after discussing it with other agencies, the bureau decided to wait before sending it to victims for fear of tipping off the criminals, The Washington Post reports. The FBI hadn’t wanted to tip-off the REvil gang and had hoped to take down their operations, sources told the Post.


You might have a chance to rationalize the FBI’s malicious behavior if the agency was able to bring the REvil gang to justice: They weren’t able to. The hacking group “went dark,” and the FBI reportedly lost their scent.

FBI to SMB’s: Screw You!

In addition to withholding the decryption keys at a crucial moment, the FBI continued to hold the keys in silence for an additional three weeks. By that time, the more than 1,500 ransomware victims had either met ransom demands or started over with fresh systems.

Lessons Learned

The FBI abandons ransomware victims.

As a small business owner, you’re screwed if you think the FBI or any other government agency will come to your aid. You’re on your own, unless you call Simple Online Security, LLC. We can help.

SOS to the Rescue

Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMB’s) turn to SOS (Simple Online Security, LLC) for help. We’ll customize our proven ransomware recovery strategy to your business, mitigating the impact of a ransomware attack.

The FBI abandons ransomware victims: We don’t.

Best Ransomware Strategy

Believe it or not, calling Simple Online Security, LLC after a ransomware attack is not the best way to manage your business data. Contact SOS today by sending an email to our rapid response distress email address: sos@simpleonlinesecurity.com.

We’ll work with you to design and execute a comprehensive network assessment that will identify vulnerabilities in your business’ operation. We’ll also propose a practical plan to minimize your exposure to ransomware and other threats.

DIY Ransomware Tips

Take the following actionable steps right now to reduce the threat of ransomware for your organization.

  • Disable and remove network sharing protocols from your network.
  • Create a secure backup strategy and protect it with encryption and redundancy.
  • Implement multifactor authentication for all your business-related networks and applications.
  • Create an isolated recovery environment. You need a way to restore your data without being susceptible to an extended ransomware attack.

Also, be sure to check out our article, How can I instantly improve my online security? for more cybersecurity tips.

The FBI abandons ransomware victims, so call SOS

Cybersecurity seems complicated and mysterious.

We know that. Our certified network engineers and business analysts make online security seem simple. We take practical measures to harden your business’ IT assets and help you use them more efficiently.

Send us a message sos@simpleonlinesecurity today to create a safe and secure future for your business.