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New action to combat ransomware ahead of U.S. elections

New action to combat ransomware ahead of U.S. elections

Microsoft took action to disrupt a botnet called Trickbot, one of the world's most infamous botnets and prolific distributors of ransomware.

As the United States government and independent experts have warned, ransomware is one of the largest threats to the upcoming elections. Adversaries can use ransomware to infect a computer system used to maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results, seizing those systems at a prescribed hour optimized to sow chaos and distrust.

Microsoft disrupted Trickbot through a court order we obtained as well as technical action we executed in partnership with telecommunications providers around the world. The company has cut off key infrastructure so those operating Trickbot will no longer be able to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already dropped into computer systems.

In addition to protecting election infrastructure from ransomware attacks, the action will protect a wide range of organizations including financial services institutions, government agencies, healthcare facilities, businesses and universities from the various malware infections Trickbot enabled.

To read more about Microsoft's action against Trickbot and ransomware, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

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Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until 2019, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate (recent runoff elections will make Georgia the seventh state), and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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