There was a meme going around a few years ago that asked which problem you anticipated as a kid but never ended up dealing with as an adult.
The number one answer was: “I thought quicksand would be a bigger problem than it turned out to be.”
Something about Generation X kids and quicksand seemed to go hand-in-hand…but as we found out (especially kids in America), quicksand really wasn’t a problem.
Do you know what else wasn’t that big of a problem?
We were told that hackers were going to be a BIG problem as the 80s turned into the 90s and we moved towards near-complete computer automation. However, besides a few noteworthy data breaches over the past 30 years, there really hasn’t been too much to get too worked up about.
Then came the 2016 election, and allegations of Trump being elected with the help of Russian hackers were rampant.
Of course, none of those allegations proved to be correct—but it really got the population talking about hackers again.
For four years, we’ve been talking about hackers nonstop, and during the 2020 election, the allegations started again…only this time, they came from the Right. These allegations claimed that the voting machines being used in some states were easily hacked—and could in fact be cracked wide open within minutes.
While We Were Distracted
However, while we were worried about the elections, America’s enemies were planning something else entirely…and they were successful in pulling it off while we were distracted.
A declaration of emergency has been declared for 18 southeastern states in order to keep fuel supplies running after an aggressive cyberattack shut down The Colonial Pipeline, one of America’s largest pipelines that supplies gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel across 5,500 miles to the East Coast.
The hack is believed to be the largest successful assault on US energy infrastructure in history…and that’s obviously a bad thing. Once one of these attacks is successful, subsequent attacks only get bigger from that point on.
The company said it was FORCED to shut down all pipeline operations as a precaution after it became the victim of a ransomware cyberattack, a technique where the victim’s computer systems are hacked and then payment is demanded to unlock them. DarkSide, a Russian hacking outfit, is believed to be behind this particular attack.
While Colonial has not revealed whether it has paid the ransom or begun the negotiation process, both the company and the US government are working to secure the network as the shutdown to halt the ransomware cyberattack entered its fourth day on Monday, May 10th.
This is big, and it has many experts worried about the future of our computer systems and security.
Higher Gas Prices Could Be The LEAST Of Our Worries
Biden’s Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, has warned Americans that technological attacks like the Colonial Pipeline are “here to stay.”
“This is what businesses now have to worry about,” she continued. “Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent… and we have to work in partnership with business to secure networks to defend ourselves.”
And she’s right…
The problem is that you need to fight fire WITH fire.
When I had my own company, we used to get attacked by hackers all the time—but we were in the finance industry, where hacks were an occupational hazard.
So, we employed a team of “attack nerds” that would counter-attack the hackers in order to protect our systems from being infiltrated.
It’s time that America started going along these same lines…
If this was an attack on our nuclear arsenal or the American power grids, it could be far more catastrophic than just the temporary delay of fuel.
We need to be able to protect ourselves…
And it may be time to create ANOTHER military branch dedicated to cyberspace.
Because if this is where the world is headed…it’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind it.
“Social engineering has become about 75% of an average hacker’s toolkit, and for the most successful hackers, it reaches 90% or more.” – John McAfee