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Ransomware and Resilience: Protecting Critical Infrastructures in the Digital Age

November 9, 2023

By Orly Koren

In today’s interconnected world, one of the areas that are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks is critical infrastructure.

Critical infrastructure refers to the systems and assets that are essential to the functioning of a society and its economy, such as energy, transportation, healthcare, water supply, financial institutions and more. As technology advances, so do the vulnerabilities and threats that can jeopardize these essential systems. According to a recent study, in 2022, there was a 140% surge in high-impact attacks on critical infrastructure.

Let’s explore some of the more notable cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure in the recent years:

Colonial Oil, the largest pipeline in the US, was hit with a massive, targeted ransomware attackOn May 2021, Colonial Oil, the largest pipeline in the US, was hit with a massive, targeted ransomware attack.

The pipeline, which supplied over 45% of the East Coast’s gas, diesel, and jet fuel, was forced to shut down its operations entirely, causing fuel shortages across the eastern seaboard and states of emergency to be declared in four states. It took the pipeline 11 days to partially recover after the company ended up paying $5 million dollars in ransom.

 

Cyber Attack on Israeli Water SupplyIn April 2021, Israel suffered a cyberattack on their water facilities designed to spike chlorine and other chemicals to harmful levels into public water.

Had the attack been successful, civilians would further overload hospitals, farmers would destroy their crops, and further implications would ravage the country during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic.

 

cyberattack at the Oldsmar water treatment facility in FloridaEarlier In 2021, the United States experienced a similar cyberattack at the Oldsmar water treatment facility in Florida.

Unlike the attack on in Israel, this attack was successful. The unknown hacker managed to raise the lye content in the water supply from 100 parts per million (ppm) to 11,100 ppm! Thankfully, before any damage was done, an engineer noticed this substantial increase and decreased the lye count back to its normal level.

 

One of the most potentially dangerous cyberattacks on industrial infrastructure - the Triton Malware AttackOne of the most potentially dangerous cyberattacks on industrial infrastructure – the Triton Malware Attack.

The Triton Malware Attack nearly caused a massive explosion. It was discovered in a Saudi petrochemical plant and allowed hackers to take over the plant’s safety systems. According to an FBI warning, the Triton malware remains a threat to the global energy sector even today, 5 years after the incident.

 

KillNet Cyber Attack on hospitalsKillNet, a pro-Russian group, has led several sustained DDoS attacks at Ukrainian allies since the start of the conflict.

More recently, they hit numerous European hospitals, including the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands with massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, crashing their websites. They have also taken down Lithuania’s power grid, and struck over a dozen US airports, canceling flights and disrupting operators.

 

Protecting Critical Infrastructures from Cyber Threats

Given the high stakes, safeguarding critical infrastructures from cyber threats is a top priority! It is not an option but a necessity to ensure public safety, economic stability, and national security. The proactive adoption of robust cybersecurity measures, combined with collaboration and continuous alerts, is essential against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Critifence provides unique cyber security solutions designed for critical infrastructure, SCADA and Industrial Control Systems which allow to passively monitor and control OT networks.

The SCADADome XDR Platform (SXP) is a new generation of cyber security technology that provides a multilayered defense ability designed to correlate between operation and security teams of the OT and IT networks, using different techniques such as machine-process learning, anomaly detection and hybrid data sources.

Critifence SCADADome XDR Platform (SXP)

 

We are here to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need! Contact us at info@rayzoneg.com and let us know how we can help.

 

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