Ransomware, Threat Intelligence

Mounting global ransomware attacks significantly impact US

Malicious computer programming code in the shape of a skull.

CNBC reports that ransomware attacks around the world were noted by U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to have increased by up to 74% last year, with the U.S. bearing most of the brunt of intrusions.

Attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure entities' control systems have also significantly increased during the past year, said Haines during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"Although the likelihood of any single attack having a widespread effect on interrupting critical services remains low, the increased number of attacks and the actors' willingness to access and manipulate these control systems increases the collective odds that at least one could have a more significant impact," noted Haines, who added that many of the intrusions have stemmed from organizations' lack of good cybersecurity practices.

However, Haines was urged by Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, to bolster efforts to combat state-backed cybersecurity threats against U.S. infrastructure.

"They've got to understand that we hold their systems at risk… That's got to be part of our strategy. It can’t just be patching and cyber hygiene," King added.

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