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The Federal Trade Commission has announced the agenda for its Sept. 7 event looking at ransomware, which is one of the most challenging cybersecurity problems affecting consumers and businesses. Hackers use ransomware to gain access to consumer and business computers and encrypt files including photos, documents and other critical data, demanding a ransom in exchange for the key needed to decrypt the files.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez will provide opening remarks to start the event, which will include panel discussions examining the state of ransomware, how consumers and businesses can protect themselves and what to do if they fall prey to a ransomware scam.

The first panel will provide the latest statistics about the scope of the ransomware problem and include presentations from Cisco Talos, PhishLabs, and Flashpoint. The second panel will examine the best defenses against ransomware, and will include FTC Chief Technologist Lorrie Cranor along with representatives of Cylance, Red Canary, Symantec and Children’s National Medical Center. The third panel will consider how victims should respond to a ransomware hacker’s demands and include representatives from the FBI, Sylint, and PricewaterhouseCoopers and Charles River Associates.

In addition to the panel discussions, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation and New York University’s computer science department will present research based on a study of dozens of ransomware variants.

The event will take place at the FTC’s Constitution Center offices, 400 7th St SW, Washington, DC, and will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. A full schedule and other details on the forum can be found on the event’s webpage. The event is free and open to the public and will be webcast. No pre-registration is needed.

This event is the first in the FTC’s Fall Technology Series. The next event will be a seminar on drones on Oct. 17 followed by an event examining Smart TV on Dec. 12.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information


Jay Mayfield
Office of Public Affairs


Ben Rossen
Bureau of Consumer Protection