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Cyber attacks bring yet more pain for consumers

It’s just a few weeks since we saw gasoline prices spike and rationing due to a cyber attack of a leading underground gasoline pipeline in the United States that shut the system down for about a week.

Now we’re talking about one of the country’s leading meat producers being hit by hackers.

No doubt we’ll now see meat prices go even higher following a reported 20% increase just in the last 6 weeks due to worker shortages.

What’s next?

What critical part of our lives will be seriously impacted by internet criminals?

Let’s get up to date: This week JBS USA, part of JBS Foods and one of the world’s largest food companies with operations in 15 countries and literally millions of customers, reported that a cyber attack affected servers supporting its IT systems in North America and Australia,

It remains unclear who carried out the cyber attack; a Russian “crime syndicate” is suspected.

JBS hoped to restore its systems by today.

The attack comes a few weeks after a cyber attack targeted Colonial Pipeline, which forced a six-day shutdown of one of the United States’ largest fuel pipelines.

The pipeline has since returned to normal operations.

Later in May, Microsoft said it believed the hackers responsible for last year’s SolarWinds attack targeted 3,000 email accounts at various organizations — most of which were in the United States.

Counter-attacks against these criminals — which we surely should do — should not and cannot be the only solution here, however.

If that’s the case, we’re just another hack away from chaos … as we said in a recent Our View over the Colonial Pipeline incident.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security employs a Computer Emergency Readiness Team that provides response support and defense against cyber attacks for the Federal Civilian Executive Branch (.gov) networks. US-CERT also collaborates and shares information with state and local government, industry, and international partners to address cyber threats and develop effective security responses.

OK, so our federal government has and is trying to fight these battles.

But it doesn’t seem like we’re winning.

Indeed, we appear more vulnerable to these cyber criminals than ever.

As has been reported, the cyberworld landscape is shifting.

Hackers are no longer disgruntled teenagers breaking into organizations for kicks.

They’re part of fully fledged crime gangs and nation-state campaigns, equipped with sophisticated products and even help desks to instruct their victims on how to make payments.

Critical U.S. infrastructure, health-care systems and private businesses are vulnerable, not to mention computer users with internet.

What’s the solution?

Is there a solution?

We’d love, frankly, to see less internet.

But that’s not where our world is going.

Indeed, we’re becoming more internet-dependent.

How sad.

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