If there’s something we’ve learned about cyberattacks in recent years, it’s that no one is immune to them. From the Sony Pictures hack in 2014 that leaked confidential data and changed Hollywood to the Yahoo data breach that impacted 1.5 billion user accounts — No matter how big, rich or powerful a company, it’s susceptible to hacking. Over the last month, there have been three massive data breaches. Colonial Pipeline, government agencies and the meatpacking company JBS are the victims. Is cybersecurity attainable anymore?
1. Colonial Pipeline
Last month, Colonial Pipeline — which carries 45% of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, jet fuel and petrol — was the victim of a ransomware attack. The pipeline was shut down for days, resulting in a huge hike in gasoline prices and tons of logistical headaches. Eastern European cyberhacking group DarkSide was behind the attack. It’s unsure how the hack exactly took place, but Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount did have to shell out a $4.4 million ransom.
2. U.S. Agency for International Development
The tech giant confirmed that 3,000 email accounts — including those of many government agencies and companies — were hacked by the group Nobelium or APT29. At least a quarter of these attacks were against agencies involved in international development and human rights, including the U.S. Agency for International Development. Although Microsoft says their cybersecurity blocked the majority of the attacks, the extent to which data was compromised is unknown.
The most recent of these attacks happened on June 1. The largest meatpacking company in the world, JBS, fell victim to a ransomware attack by a hacker group in Russia. The attack has led to a halt in operations in JBS plants all over the world. The extent of the breach is yet to be determined, but JBS stated that “resolution of the incident will take time.”
The government doesn’t believe that the Russian government was directly involved in these attacks, but they have touched base with the Kremlin and warned them about harboring cybercriminals. Ultimately, these cyberattacks have proven that cybersecurity infrastructure is not as solid as we believe; even the largest companies have had no choice but to pay huge ransoms or face the consequences.