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FBI and CISA issue holiday ransomware, cyberattack warning

"We know that threat actors don't take holidays," says CISA Director Jen Easterly.

Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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Government agencies have issued warnings about cyberattacks as the holidays approach.

Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning on Monday to remind organizations to stay alert and take precautions against ransomware and cyberattacks this holiday season. 

The government agencies aren't currently aware of a specific threat but urge both private and public organizations to remain vigilant. They suggest that organizations mandate strong passwords and ensure that passwords aren't reused across multiple accounts, along with implementing multi-factor authentication where possible.

"We know that threat actors don't take holidays," CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a release. "We will continue to provide timely and actionable information to help our industry and government partners stay secure and resilient during the holiday season." 

In the past, cybercriminals have seen the holidays as a desirable time to strike, FBI Cyber Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran noted. The FBI and CISA issued a similar warning in August, ahead of Labor Day. Both agencies encourage organizations to report all incidents to the FBI and CISA.