Cyber ​​attacks are hitting the pipeline and the meat industry. Is it because of the pandemic?


In May, the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies almost half of the East Coast fuel, learned of it. I was hit by a cyber attack.

The federal attack is Carried by the ransomware group DarkSideThe company was forced to shut down its 5,500-mile pipeline system extending from Texas to New Jersey.In response, southeastern drivers rushed to fill their cars with petrol and depleted gas stations throughout the region. And the igniter of fuel shortage.

Same month, Cyber ​​attack on meat processor JBS The company was forced to shut down at facilities throughout the United States Online service stopped due to ransomware attack Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Island, and the Massachusetts Steamship Agency carrying passengers between the outer shores of the state.

According to the data, cybercrime similar to these attacks and attacks on individuals has been on the rise recently. Experts say that many factors may have contributed to this surge, but some say that the COVID-19 pandemic may be partly due.

Increase in cybercrime

In 2020, the FBI Collecting data on 791,790 suspected Internet crimesAccording to a report released in March, the number has increased by more than 300,000 compared to 2019. The top three crimes were “phishing scams, non-payment / non-delivery scams, and blackmail.”

The FBI states that the losses associated with these crimes totaled more than $ 4.2 billion.

Number of Internet Crime Complaints from March 12, 2020 to May 15, 2021 Jumped from a total of 5 million to 6 million Since 2000, the FBI has said. Previously, between October 2017 and March 2020, the total number of complaints increased by 1 million.

In April 2020, FBI officials said 3,000-4,000 cybercrime complaints daily — The Hill reported an increase from 1,000 complaints per day before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry experts said in 2021 “almost Six ransomware attacks occur every minute. ” — According to consumer information site Safeatlast, this is an increase from “once every 40 seconds in 2016 and once every 14 seconds in 2019”.

By 2021, ransomware recovery costs are expected to exceed $ 20 billion.

What is the cause of the increase?

According to Safeatlast, today’s ransomware attacks are more sophisticated than they used to be.

“According to cybersecurity experts, we’ve learned that hackers shouldn’t expect to target thousands of victims at once and succumb to their demands,” the group says. “Instead, Cybercriminals are now looking at certain organizations that are likely to pay the ransom to recover their data as soon as possible. “

In addition, according to Safeatlast, hacking groups are demanding ransom using cryptocurrencies that are increasingly difficult to track.

However, some say that pandemics may have helped increase cyberattacks.

Investisdigital, a digital telecommunications company, wrote in May: Ransomware attacks are becoming more common Part of the reason is that “malicious groups are using companies that are distracted by the massive turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cyber ​​criminals used businesses Adapting to “unique challenges” of remote work Cincinnati Business Courier reportedly committed hacking, data breaches, video hijacking and fraud in June 2020.

Microsoft will also have cybercriminals in 2020 “Adapt their tactics accordingly What was happening in the world? “

“It wasn’t until February 11th, when the World Health Organization called the global health emergency” COVID-19 “, that attackers began aggressively launching opportunistic campaigns,” Microsoft said. I am. “The week after that declaration, these attacks increased 11-fold.”

The FBI noted a surge in Internet crimes that “abused the COVID-19 pandemic” in 2020.

According to Microsoft data, the surge in coronavirus-related attacks is “due to diversion by known attackers who have used existing infrastructure and malware to decoy new decoys,” and cybercriminals will deal with the pandemic. I was targeting the main players who are trying.

“These changes were typical of a global threat situation, but what was unique in this case was how easy it is for cybercriminals to work due to the global nature and universal impact of the crisis. That’s what it means, “says Microsoft. “They preyed on our concerns, confusion, and desire for resolution.”