Since the start of the global pandemic in February, America has experienced an increased number of cyberattacks targeting the vulnerable state of our country. As the pandemic continues, the threat of hackers persists across sectors contributing to a full-blown cyber crisis. Articles by Wall Street Journal’s James Rundle, New York Times’ David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, Matthew Rosenberg and Infosecurity Group’s Sarah Coble provide updates on the current state of the cyber crisis, and go into detail about the threats our country is combatting in the technology space.
The first threat surrounds the upcoming 2020 presidential election. As states scramble to find safe voting methods during the pandemic, cyberattacks are growing from oversees. The U.S. government has already received attempted hacks from Russia, China and Iran. In addition, it is been revealed that Democracy Live, an online voting platform used by many states, does not have the ability to detect hackers which presents major privacy concerns. The vulnerability of voting systems along with foreign interference opens up the opportunity for hackers to modify votes and ultimately alter the results of the upcoming election.
The next major cyber threat targets the financial sector. Due to COVID-19, many banks and financial firms were forced to make major cost-cuts and lay-offs within incident response departments. These cuts leave financial systems extremely vulnerable. In fact, cyberattacks against these systems have risen by almost 300% since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, giant databases such as CAT, which contains information on every stock in the U.S., is at an increased risk of getting hacked. Without the proper funds and personnel being allocated towards keeping our financial systems safe, cyber threats may be increasingly difficult to fight off.
Although it is not too late to take steps towards fighting off cyber threats aimed at the 2020 election and the financial sector; other attacks have already been successful. Just last week a group of hackers called HAZE successfully accessed confidential documents from a U.S. nuclear missile sub-contractor. HAZE leaked sensitive data such as employee email, payroll and personal information. It is still unknown what else the group gained access too. All in all, cyber threats continue to persist. In order to fight off these hackers, organizations must increase efforts towards strengthening security online and reducing vulnerabilities to keep systems secure. Let’s take steps towards stopping these threats in their tracks.
Infrastructure Report: Cyber Concerns Haunt Financial Sector During Pandemic Recovery – James Rundle, The Wall Street Journal
- Cyberattacks against banks and other financial firms rose by 283% since the start of the pandemic
- The Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT), a giant database containing information on every stock across the U.S., is at an increased risk of being hacked due to the current vulnerability of the financial system
- Cost-cuts and lay-offs in the incident response departments are contributing to the financial sector’s vulnerability
Amid Pandemic and Upheaval, New Cyberthreats to the Presidential Election – David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg, The New York Times
- State and local registration databases may be potentially locked by hackers demanding ransomware in the 2020 election
- Hackers have the potential to change large volumes of votes
- Foreign interference is real – the U.S. government has recently received attempted hacks from Russia, China and Iran
- Many states are using Democracy Live for online voting. Democracy is unable to detect hackers and presents privacy concerns
Cyber-Attack Hits US Nuclear Missile Sub-Contractor – Sarah Coble, Infosecurity Group
- Confidential documents have been accessed from a U.S. nuclear missile sub-contractor in a cyberattack by MAZE
- Sensitive data was leaked online such as employee emails, payroll and personal information
- Westech is still trying to figure out what information the hackers gained access to