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America Must Prepare For More Cyberattacks

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After a recent wave of cyber attacks on American business in the US and abroad, top cyber security authorities issued a stark warning that there will be more of these types of assaults.

The ransomware that was unleashed last month targeted industries that are vital to everyday life in the United States. This kind of extortion and harassment by cyber criminals has disrupted fuel and meat supplies. Imagine the scope of what they can do to endanger society if they decide to paralyze the electricity grid and communications towers. 

Chris Butera, the head of Threat Hunting for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), reminded the American people about this threat that needs to be taken more seriously by the US government. Butera claims that these ransomware attacks have “continued to increase, especially in our state, local governments, as well as our critical instructor space.”

“The ransomware actors have become more brazen,” he said during a virtual summit Wednesday. They’ve started to exfiltrate data and try to extort payments,” Butera cautioned.

“I do think we will continue to see that happen,” Butera said.

Butera also said that cybersecurity is of utmost importance for the United States government due to the negative impact that such crimes could cause to the country.

The government should be more strict in dealing with these criminals and should actively prevent private companies from paying ransom to these crooks behind the computer. Although it is highly-discouraged, the U.S. government cannot interfere if, for example JBS Meat or Colonial Pipeline decides to cave in to the demands of these cybergangs.

“The government does not advocate paying ransoms. But we do understand that it is a significant, difficult decision for some of these organizations when they are put under the gun to try to manage their business operations during these times,” Butera said.

The authorities should provide these private companies the security that they need to fend off ransomware attacks. These businesses are not only established to churn out profit, our society has been reliant on these companies as well and incapacitating them will be detrimental to the entire populace.

Paying the ransom is not a safe assurance that these traitorous attackers will make good on their promise. Moreover, giving way to their pressure will just encourage these cybercriminal organizations to launch more extortion operations. The last thing we need right now is empowering these gangs by giving them what they want.

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