Why cyberattacks keep happening to US companies

Five on 2

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) — America’s cybersecurity is in the spotlight after several cyberattacks on companies critical to the country’s infrastructure made international headlines.

JBS USA is the largest distributor of meat in the world and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack caused a price scare at the pumps. Though JBS has handled the situation and doesn’t foresee it causing a disruption, it still raises the questions: Why now?

“Ransomware operators have discovered that we have some weaknesses. Obviously now they’re targeting large manufacturers — manufacturing in general seems to be an industry in the U.S. that has a weak area,” said Shawn Waldman, CEO of Secure Cyber Defense.

Waldman said local government is another problem area, illustrated by the ransomware attack on the D.C. police. However, the most likely reason is that these companies keep paying.

“We never recommend that. Obviously, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, two federal agencies that investigate these crimes very heavily, are very vocal about not paying the ransom,” said Waldman.

He said that some of the time, these companies find out that their backups are now encrypted. These situations can be “life or death” for some organizations and their survival is dependent on them getting that data back.

With a meeting between both the U.S. and Russia looming in the future, Waldman recommends people look at it objectively. Though many hacker groups come out of eastern Europe, servers residing in Russia may belong to groups elsewhere.

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