Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Cyberthreats: Back to typewriters from PCs?

The World Economic Forum predicts that cyberattacks can cost global firms up to $8 trillion in damages in the next five years

Authorities in a borough in the town of Valdez in Alaska were compelled to give up their PCs and go back to typewriters and hand receipts after a major cyberattack last month that crippled its IT infrastructure, affecting phone lines, 500 workstations and 120 servers in the process. According to the borough’s IT department, it was a multi- pronged attack involving an Emotet Trojan Horse and BitPaymer ransomware that let cybercriminals seize full control over the IT network.

This example is simply a case in point. The World Economic Forum predicts that cyberattacks can cost global firms up to $8 trillion in damages in the next five years. For instance, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd, which has some of the leading tech firms such as Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as its clients, had to shut down part of its production facilities after some its fabrication tools were infected by a malware attack.

Further, after last month’s attack on SingHealth, Singapore’s largest health institution in which personal data of 150,000 users was compromised, a US-based health facility reported a major data breach involving records of 44,979 patients, caused by a ransomware attack.

Cybersecurity experts at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, have cautioned its urban water services department against a potential attack on smart irrigation systems controlled by a network of computers. Hackers can misuse the access to disrupt water and irrigation supply.

Recently, US authorities arrested three members of an international cybercrime organization called Fin7 for targeting more than 100 US companies and compromising credit and debit card data of millions of users. But clearly, more needs to be done

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