Not ransomware, 'killware' is the new threat, top US security official explains

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Oct 13, 2021, 06:17 PM(IST)

Ransomware group named Darkside was reportedly behind the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to US homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,  a 'cyber incident' was linked to an attempted hack on a water treatment facility in Florida intended to contaminate the water.

As ransomware becomes a dangerous threat, US homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently informed about a new threat called "killware" which aims to literally kill people.

Mayorkas informed that a "cyber incident" was linked to an attempted hack on a water treatment facility in Florida intended to contaminate the water to be distributed to residents which took place in February.

Also Read: Ex-Pentagon software chief claims US has lost AI battle against China

Mayorkas warned about the increasing frequency of cyberattacks and urged authorities to treat it as a matter of priority.

The top US official on homeland security referred to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in April. The reported cyberattack on the pipeline had led to fuel shortages in the US east coast. 

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A ransomware group named Darkside was reportedly behind the cyberattack on the pipeline, according to the FBI. The attack had led to fuel shortages and rise in prices even as US President Joe Biden was briefed about the incident.

Watch: Joe Biden warns cyberattacks could lead to 'a real shooting war'

The SolarWinds hacking row was another incident which took US federal agencies by surprise as American officials blamed Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service.

The hackers reportedly broke into the code of SolarWinds which makes software for various networks. US federal agencies were breached during the hacking incident including Microsoft.

Also Read: Hackers linked to Russia reportedly demand $70 million from companies

President Joe Biden had issued orders to federal agencies to beef up their security as the hacking exposed several US government departments, including reportedly the Justice Department networks.

(With inputs from Agencies)
 

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