House advances Judy’s proposal increasing penalties for computer hackers

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:09 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives passed State Rep. Christopher Judy’s (R-Fort Wayne) proposal that would increase penalties for hackers who hold computers hostage with ransomware.

Judy said that ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to computers and smartphones until a sum of money is paid. He is working to increase the penalty for use of ransomware to a Level 6 felony if hackers prevent the owner of the computer system from accessing their files and networks.

“This proposal is a constituent driven measure,” Judy said. “We take steps to protect our communities from robberies and other criminal activity, and as the technology in our world is evolving, so must our laws.”

Judy said the second part of this legislation provides that a person who is the victim of ransomware can bring a civil action against the offender for damages, costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Judy said that an Indiana community in Madison County was hacked by an unknown group that demanded a ransom payment. He said this set the local government back several weeks and cost them money to restore their computers and networks.

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State Rep. Christopher Judy (R-Fort Wayne) represents House District 83, which includes portions of Whitley and Allen counties.

A high-resolution photo of Judy can be downloaded by clicking here.