Dominant companies are good targets for hackers and cyber warfare | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

Recent ransomware attacks that temporarily dysfunctional major US Beef supplier And fuel It provides a horrifying piece of chaos that cyberwarfare can cause, especially if the perpetrators focus on infrastructure damage that is more important than monetary bounty.

Security experts emphasize the potential impact of attacks on countries and say they serve as a lesson on how computerized turmoil disrupts the economy and even everyday life. Increasing these risks in recent years: Integration of a handful of large companies and industries with market power concentrated in their computer networks — could be used to defeat the supply of key products and services to the United States It can be an obstacle.

“Both Colonial Pipeline and JBS events really remind us that there is an important focus in the supply chain of key US products and services that need special attention,” said Cyber ​​Risk Management. David White, president of Axios, told CBS Money Watch. ..

May attack on Colonial Pipeline and this month’s ransomware Conspiracy against JBSThe world’s largest meat producer supplied nearly half of its gasoline and jet fuel to the east coast, disrupting operations, including about one-fifth of US cattle and pig slaughter. Dining at restaurants and cyber attacks are pushing up costs even further.

“Now we’re heading out a clear recipe for how to do serious damage to the American economy. It’s very scary to start thinking about what could happen from a nation-state actor,” White said. Currently, “there is a clear game plan on how nation-states with very different motives launch cyber attacks,” he added.

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Braunt acknowledged the same in a statement prepared on Tuesday in Congress: “Criminal organizations and nation-states are constantly evolving, sharpening tactics, American companies and the United States. We are trying to find new ways to break into the government system, “he said. “These attacks will continue to occur and critical infrastructure will continue to be targeted.”

4 companies control 80% of US meat

The JBS attack garnered national headlines, highlighting how the country’s food supply is exposed to cyber threats.

“At this scale, this is a kind of alarm,” said Marc Jordan, executive director of Leap Market Analytics, a research firm specializing in the livestock and poultry markets.

The meat business is particularly concentrated, with JBS, Cargill, National Beef and Tyson Foods controlling more than 80% of the US beef processing market.

“All this fits more broadly into the agriculture and food chain as we move into this more technological world,” said Tray Malone, an agricultural economist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan. “Now, 1 Tens of thousands of animals were affected by one attack. “

In other words, JBS was forced to suspend or reduce production for about three days at some point, and the USDA announced the wholesale prices of beef and pork that the market routinely considers. Malone pointed out that he stopped.

Concerns about cyber attacks on meat processors


The company’s problems caused headaches for JBS feedlots trying to deliver cattle and those who bought the beef, but it didn’t last long until it reached consumers, Jordan said. “It’s been a few more days or three days since I faced such a problem here.”

Malone said wholesale beef prices soared to near record highs during a pandemic, and the JBS attack “was an important event for about three days, but almost nothing compared to last year’s crazy event. No “proven. Closed.

The fact that JBS was able to come back online quickly is evidence that they were ready to go online, which White encourages.

The May Colonial Pipeline attack caused gas shortages at stations in several states, attracting national attention despite a series of ransomware attacks that took place with little attention. It was.

For example, while Colonial was in the news, San Diego-based healthcare system Scrips Heath was suffering from a three-week outage caused by a cybersecurity incident that crashed the patient portal. In another recent attack, Molson Coors suffered a system outage in March, disrupting operations and shipments earlier this year, beer makers said in a regulatory filing.

Insurance giant CNA Financial also recently paid $ 40 million to regain control of its network, according to Bloomberg News. However, the attack did not spur public scrutiny as it did at the time. Colonial Pipeline paid $ 5 million This is to restore and operate the system.

“Ransomware is a business”

Society’s reliance on technology had an impact again on Tuesday morning. Dozens of high-traffic websites The UK Government homepages, including the New York Times, CNN, and Twitch, weren’t available until Fastly fixed the issue about an hour later. The impact of the turmoil highlights the relative vulnerabilities of online architectures and their reliance on large tech companies, as opposed to more decentralized models.

Regional turmoil doesn’t get the same national attention as tampering with businesses to threaten two things that Americans keep close to and cherish: gasoline and burgers. According to White, extort as much money as possible.

“Ransomware is a business and a criminal company, and it’s easy to say that these two attackers made strategic mistakes,” White said. “They were targeted by the U.S. government. But from a strategic point of view, it’s in their interest to make it unobtrusive. “

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies say ending hacking attacks is now a national security priority, and Congress is also moving to legislate the obligations the industry has successfully opposed over the years. I am considering.

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