House File 2461, which passed the Iowa House unanimously March 2, would make the development and deployment of ransomware illegal in Iowa except in cases of testing or research. The bill defines ransomware as “a computer or data contaminant, encryption or lock that is placed or introduced into a computer, computer network or computer system that restricts access by an authorized individual” in a way that results in the perpetrator demanding money or other consideration to remove the restriction. Depending on the severity of the losses caused by the ransomware, charges range from an aggravated misdemeanor to a class C felony. The bill now goes to the Senate.