A Russian cybergang attacked an American cybersecurity firm, holding customer data ransom for $70 million. Most outlets fail to provide larger context of the threat we face.
The latest cyberattack is affecting “hundreds of companies” around the world occurred Friday when a Florida-based IT company was hacked and clients’ data was accessed.
- The hackers are holding the stolen data hostage, demanding a $70 million ransom.
- An offshoot of the Russia-based group REvil, which awas responsible for the hack of meat processor JBS, is said to be responsible for the latest cyberattack, which affected companies in more than a dozen nations.
- The increase in cyberattacks is not only putting companies’ and their clients’ data at risk; it is also putting financial pressure on the “cyber insurance” industry which helps companies weather the storms of cyberattacks.
- NPR’s reporting on cyberattacks highlights the increasing danger on the food industry in the wake of the JBS hack, and how the industry is just now implementing basic cyber-security features.
- The financial industry’s vulnerability to crippling cyberattacks was the focus of the New York Times, pinpointing several weak points in cyber-infrastructure that would be “devastating” to the financial markets and individuals if successfully exploited.
- CNN’s coverage focused on the White House’s response to the REvil cyberattack, urging all companies affected to notify federal cybersecurity authorities to help law enforcement piece together information on the attack.
- The Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the REvil ransom noted how the company originally attacked, Kaseya VSA, assists other cybersecurity companies deliver software updates, meaning the reach of cyberattack could trickle down to its customer’s customers.
- The New York Post’s perspective quietly framed the story as one in which the Biden White House has been slow to respond, despite no real evidence.
- Newsmax’s reporting framed an interaction between President Biden and a reporter regarding the cyberattack as one that suggests Biden’s declining mental abilities simply because he used notes.
Cyberattacks will continue to increase in frequency and severity. The New York Times’ report on the financial industry’s vulnerability did not provide a broad enough context to its report: If banks go down, millions upon millions of Americans will simply not have access to their money. It will be a nightmare scenario that makes the bank run in It’s a Wonderful Life look like a walk in the park.
“Institutional America” is not taking these threats seriously. The government does not appear to be on the offensive, industries seem reluctant to address the threat until after it happens, and the reporting on cyberattacks too quickly devolve along partisan lines. Newsmax’s angle of their reporting is counterproductive and serves no real purpose to illuminate their readership.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021