Be Alert! The World Needs More “Lerts”!

Posted on October 19th, 2021
Posted in Uncategorized   

Two weeks ago, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave an interview describing an attempted cyber attack that “very fortunately did not succeed.” The attempted attack in February of this year was focused on a water treatment facility in Oldsmar, Florida. Worryingly, unlike previous high-profile cyber-attacks, this one was “not for financial gain but rather purely to do harm.”

These so-called Killware attacks are reportedly increasing in frequency and severity and pose an immediate risk to virtually every aspect of our infrastructure. The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline earlier this year showed the dramatic effects a cyber attack on even just one system within our infrastructure can have. Water/Waste water/Storm water systems, Oil & Gas facilities, power plants, refineries, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, emergency response systems, banks, and transportation systems are all at risk.

After the attack on the Colonial Pipeline, Halker Consulting provided some considerations for evaluating system security which you can find here: OT / IT Security These evaluations and the improvements they suggest are critical and ensure data integrity and security as well as operational continuity. It is important to note that as hackers’ motivations continue to evolve from just profit to pure maliciousness, network security is no longer just a concern for owners’ and operators’ bottom lines, it is a genuine and potentially large-scale health and safety concern as well. As Mayorkas said, “The attempted hack of this water treatment facility in February 2021 demonstrated the grave risks that malicious cyber activity poses to public health and safety. The attacks are increasing in frequency and gravity, and cybersecurity must be a priority for all of us.”