(AbsoluteNews.com) – Ransomware is an insidious malware program that enters a computer and locks the files by encrypting the data. In order to access the digital contents of the computer and unlock the system, a person must have the encryption key. Many such attacks in 2021 targeted businesses and organizations demanding large sums of money to pay hackers for access to their own systems. Three high-profile cases in the US included the Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods and Acer.
This year marked a turning point for malicious attacks on computer systems, fueled by a rise in nation-state attacks and ransomware. May's Colonial Pipeline attack helped drive that message home.#cybersecurity #infosechttps://t.co/CrYcVWfSGH
— Fortress Information Security (@FortressInfoSec) December 17, 2021
The Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest in the United States, experienced a ransomware attack in May. The incident disrupted gas supplies across the East Coast and compromised the personal information of about 6,000 citizens. Although the pipeline gave in to the $4.4-million ransom, the FBI recovered most of the money. However, the perpetrators are still at large.
In May, hackers attacked JBS Foods, a large meat processing company. To regain access to their systems, the company paid $11 million to the thieves. Although the ransomware incident didn’t cause a food shortage, the potential for a crisis was very real.
The REvil hacker group attacked the computer manufacturing company Acer in March and demanded $50 million from the business while leaking financial documents and spreadsheets to the public. Acer did not publicly announce whether it paid the ransom. Hackers were believed to be the same group that later attacked JBS Foods.
With each successful attack, the hackers become bolder with their targets. Until authorities stop the criminals, every system is likely vulnerable.
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