Trump’s solution for ransomware attacks: Just ditch computers altogether

‘The way you stop it is you go back to a much more old-fashioned form of accounting and things,’ Mr Trump says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Monday 07 June 2021 17:37 BST

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Donald Trump has called for the United States government and other administrative bodies to go back to using paper records in an effort to stop the growing cybersecurity attacks.

“The way you stop it is you go back to a much more old-fashioned form of accounting and things,” Mr Trump said when speaking to Fox Business Network on Monday.

“You know, I have a son who is so good with computers. He’s a young person and he can make these things sing and when you put everything on internet and on all of these machines – you never see a piece of paper – I really think that you have to go back to a different form of accounting, a different form of compiling information,” he added.

Young people, like Mr Trump’s youngest son Barron, were one reason why agencies should consider moving away from computers when recording secure information, Mr Trump claims.

“As a young person, my 15-year-old son is, you know, he’s just a genius with this stuff,” he said. “And you have people that are going to break into systems. I think you have to go back and you have to be much more reliant, there has to be much better security.”

Mr Trump went on to question how ransomware hackers earned money when they launched a cyberattack against a company.

To this, Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney informed the president that Bitcoin was a common payment.

“That’s another beauty,” Mr Trump said. “The currency of this world should be the dollar. And I don’t think we should have all of the Bitcoins of the world out there. I think they should regulate them very, very high.”

These comments come after the United States experienced multiple ransomware attacks in recent months that have impacted vital infrastructure to the country.

The most prominent attack happened when DarkSide, a hacker group based in Russia, hacked Colonial Pipeline, which owns one of the largest pipelines in the country.

Typically a ransomware attack involves hackers locking up computer systems by encrypting data and paralysing networks before asking for a large ransom from the targeted company to unscramble it.

Colonial Pipeline shut down its pipeline for several days to restore its systems, which caused gas prices to increase and panic buying among residents living in the impacted states. The company also paid more than $4m to DarkSide in cryptocurrency.

Mr Trump’s suggestion to the current cyberattack problem was unlikely to be followed by any business or government agency given the decades-long prominence of computer systems in society.

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