Is paying ransoms illegal? U.S. Law Generally Does Not Prohibit Paying a Ransom for the Return of People or Goods. U.S. law criminalizes receiving, possessing, or disposing of money that at any time has been delivered as ransom for a kidnapping.
Should ransoms be paid? Law enforcement agencies recommend not paying, because doing so encourages continued criminal activity. In some cases, paying the ransom could even be illegal, because it provides funding for criminal activity.
Should you pay a cyber ransom? The FBI does not support paying a ransom in response to a ransomware attack. Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee you or your organization will get any data back. It also encourages perpetrators to target more victims and offers an incentive for others to get involved in this type of illegal activity.
Is sending ransomware illegal? The federal government criminalizes the distribution of malicious software in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030. Section 5(A) specifically prohibits you from knowingly causing information, code, commands or programs to be transmitted to a computer without authorization.