If you’ve ever borrowed a family member’s device, it probably comes with a warning to be careful. Why? Because you have power over all their information and most people are worried about accidental missteps. You’re probably innocently just looking to play a game, but in the world of cybercrime, having power over a computer or a system can mean a lot more.
One such attack is ransomware, which is when hackers illegally access a system and bring the entire system down, promising to return it in exchange for money. Recently, hackers halted an entire oil pipeline that carries three million barrels of fuel a day from Texas to New York. Colonial Pipeline, the company that owns the pipeline, shut it all down to prevent any malicious activity, leaving thousands of people in the region wondering if they’d get gas for their cars while the problem got resolved? That meant panic at the gas station as people tried to stock up! Colonial Pipeline finally agreed to pay $5 million dollars to the Eastern European hackers in order to avoid a massive gas crisis in the US.
Governments and authorities have to be constantly vigilant about strong, secure systems that control important services, like banking, water supply, electricity, and more. In the past ten years alone, brazen acts of ransomware have left cybersecurity companies on their toes as they figure out how to protect or recover from the next attack.
How do you keep your devices secure?