Cybercrime: Extortion

Home Office written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Labour, Warley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what is her policy on the payment of ransoms both for (a) individuals and (b) in response to cyberattacks.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government does not advise paying ransoms to criminals. The payment of a ransom to criminals is likely to encourage further criminal activity and does not guarantee a successful outcome.

The legal decision of whether or not to pay the ransom is ultimately a matter for the individuals or organisations concerned. We encourage victims of ransom demands to contact the authorities for support. An offence may arise from a possibility of money laundering or terrorist financing taking place as a result of a ransom payment.

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