Cyberattacks grew exponentially during 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic, and the trend was confirmed in 2021: public services such as Colonial Pipeline, healthcare systems such as Ireland’s, and Kaseya’s latest resonant attack are just some of the best-known cases. And some cities like New York they are already taking more drastic measures: they will open a cyber defense center in Manhattan.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the city of New York opened an Operations Center of Critical Cybernetic Services and Infrastructures (CCSI) to defend against major cyberattacks.
Drawing from a combination of public and private sector organizations including Amazon, the Federal Reserve Bank, IBM, the New York Police Department, and various healthcare providers, the capital of the world is preparing to face this huge problem.
The idea is that if a cyberattack occurs, the entities will cooperate to overcome the attack and to organize a response from the city in case the digital offensive affects the infrastructure of New York.
Politicians first presented the idea in 2017, but the CCSI was a virtual initiative until now.
The Colonial Pipeline case affected the energy supply of much of the country. Photo Bloomberg
The trend could be replicated in other cities in the United States: Atlanta Y Baltimore they were affected during the last time and could replicate the system.
Cybersecurity, in Biden’s sights
Joe Biden, President of the United States. AP Photo
Hacks are among the biggest concerns of the President of the United States, Joe Biden. In early April this year, the US Department of Justice raised investigations of ransomware attacks to a similar priority to terrorism in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline attack.
“It is a specialized process to make sure that we follow up on all cases of ransomware, regardless of where it may originate in this country, so that you can establish connections between the actors and move forward to break the entire chain“explained John Carlin, chief deputy assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice.
In practice, it means that investigators in the US attorney’s offices handling ransomware attacks are expected to share both up-to-date details of the case and active technical information with leaders in Washington.
In fact, this Wednesday senior US officials met at the White House to evaluate actions aimed at stop ransomware attacks, while increasing pressure on Biden to take action against Russia for the recent cyberattacks.
Kaseya, affected by REvil. Reuters photo
Days after hundreds of companies in the United States and some 1,500 around the world saw their computer systems hijacked apparently by the REvil ransomware group, based in Russia, there were calls for tough counterattacks by Pentagon cyber soldiers and also demanding more sanctions against Moscow.
After the meeting, Biden told reporters that he would send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the matter, without offering any details about it.
Thus, with Russia at the center of the scene, and a list of the world’s most famous cybercriminals in hand, Biden will try to contain a problem that seems to be far from having a prompt solution.