America’s food industry under attack from cyber bullies
As the June 16 meeting between the US and Russia swiftly approaches, US infrastructures have been targets of cyber attacks.
Initially, government agencies appeared to be the sole targets of these attacks, but private sector companies like the food, oil and supplies industries have also been targeted.
Tuesday, JBS, the world’s largest meat packing facility, was the latest target of a ransomware attack. JBS shut down the affected systems and began working with an incident response firm to restore its systems as quickly as possible. The company wasn’t shut down long enough to do any major damage, but now the industry as a whole is on watch.
One of the biggest problems in an industry of this magnitude, the report showed, is that many control systems and software used by the food industry today are outdated and were not designed to withstand a cyber attack.
As the world is becoming more proficient with detecting spam, ransomers are increasing how they go about extorting their victims.
- Conventional ransomware— Breaching a computer network, then encrypting valuable data so the victim can’t gain access. The attackers then demand a ransom in return for a decryption key.
- Double extortion— Conventional ransomware, plus threatens to leak the data. This strategy is meant to further pressure victims to pay the ransom. In some cases, the data leak is a separate ransom, so the victim is being extorted for two payments.
- Triple extortion–All of the above but expands the reach to customers, partners and other third parties related to the initial breach in an effort to extort even more money.
Chris Butera, head of Threat Hunting for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said the government does not advocate paying any ransom as it encourages future attacks.
Two major problems to paying ransomware
- No guarantee a ransomer will unlock what they are holding hostage
- Payment sets a precedent that could encourage other groups to engage in ransomware.
For more information about how you can avoid becoming a victim of ransomware, please contact us.