The Year Ransomware Disrupted Infrastructure

What was the top cyber story in 2021? How will the cyber industry remember this year?

The headline answer clearly includes disruptive ransomware that, perhaps for the first time ever, seized global attention by crippling critical infrastructure — in the form of the Colonial Pipeline incident in the southeastern U.S.

And while the Colonial Pipeline leads the list of top cyber stories, there are many other critical infrastructures that were disabled by ransomware. Here is an excerpt on this topic from a “Lohrmann on Infrastructure” July blog:

“Back in April of this year, a BBC News headline read, ‘The ransomware surge ruining lives.’ And that was before the cyberattacks on critical infrastructure sectors like Colonial Pipeline, meat-processing giant JBS, the Irish Health Service and so many others.”

As the year progressed, President Biden warned Russian President Putin against cyber attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure:

And ransomware continues to headline across the Internet.

c|net — Hacks, ransomware and data privacy dominated cybersecurity in 2021: “The year started off on a sour security note. In January, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jointly suggested that Russia was responsible for an attack against SolarWinds, a Texas-based company whose software was used by everyone from the federal government to railroads, hospitals and major tech companies.”

HelpNet Security — Alarming rise in cyberattacks against healthcare facilities, 68 attacks in Q3 2021 only: “Hackers sponsored by the Iranian government were inside the networks of a U.S. children’s hospital earlier this year, poised to launch a ransomware attack at any moment. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On Nov. 17, the United States, Britain, and Australia issued a joint warning that Iranian actors have conducted ransomware attacks against U.S. targets and gained…