The U.S. Department of Justice is elevating investigations of ransomware attacks to a similar priority as terrorism in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack and mounting damage caused by cyber criminals, a senior department official told Reuters.
[news release] It took nearly seven years for the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to log its first million complaints. It took only 14 months to add the most recent million.
Globally, ransomware increased 148 percent [PDF] from 2019 to 2020, and last year the FBI reported [PDF] nearly $25 million in losses, which is likely just a small fraction of the total cost. These are large numbers but they fail to capture the societal impacts that ransomware wreaks upon communities. Local governments oversee water utilities, airports, schools, health care facilities, and other services that people tend to take for granted, and cyber criminals are all too aware of our dependency on these services. 2,400 U.S.-based governments, health-care facilities, and schools were victims of ransomware in 2020. These attacks disrupted medical treatment during a global pandemic, interrupted remote learning, and disabled public transportation.
Fuel deliveries to the east coast of the United States have been brought to a standstill by cybercriminals that have gained access to Colonial Pipelines’ networks and forced the company to shut down its distribution system. This attack comes on top of a ransomware attack on natural gas infrastructure last year and an explicit warning [PDF] from the Director of National Intelligence in 2019 that China had the ability to disrupt our pipeline infrastructure.
China’s top diplomat had an interesting rejoinder to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call in Anchorage this month to “strengthen the rules-based international order.” Such an order already exists, answered Politburo member Yang Jiechi. It’s called the United Nations.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg laid out steps to reform a key internet law on Wednesday, saying that companies should have immunity from liability only if they follow best practices for removing damaging material from their platforms.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual report. The 2020 Internet Crime Report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime—an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019—and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion. State-specific statistics have also been released and can be found within the 2020 Internet Crime Report and in the accompanying 2020 State Reports.
Lawmakers on Friday debated an antitrust bill that would give news publishers collective bargaining power with online platforms like Facebook and Google, putting the spotlight on a proposal aimed at chipping away at the power of Big Tech.
The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was carried out by a flock of supporters of QAnon’s extremist ideology based on false claims, far-right zealots and others convinced of the falsehood that a presidential election had been stolen from former president Donald Trump.
Over the last year, the worldwide web has started to look less worldwide.