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Where Could We Be - Potential Societal Implications of Industrial Cyber Attacks in the Decade Ahead

Where Could We Be - Potential Societal Implications of Industrial Cyber Attacks in the Decade Ahead

Created: Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 12:41
Categories:
Cybersecurity, Resilience, Security Preparedness

If you are reading this, you understand the devastation that can occur when critical infrastructure fails. Whether the compromise is due to a mechanical failure or a cyber attack, societal ramifications can be dire. In a recent post, Sergio Caltagirone, Vice President of Threat Intelligence at industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos, presents several interconnected reasons we may expect important humanitarian consequences from cyber operations over the next decade. As industrial-focused threat actors continue investing in offensive capabilities, it is reasonable to expect future attacks will become more widespread and cause significant suffering among populations and damage to economies. However, another notion not yet widely discussed is that industrial-focused cyber threat actors may be following their IT-focused counterparts by commoditizing their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). With exploit kits and “as-a-service” cybercrime offerings, cyber attacks such as phishing and ransomware are available for even novice actors to deploy for personal, criminal, or political gain. Sergio suggests that a commoditization of industrial attacks will be deployed on a whim with similar motives. Such an industrial cyber threat model might lead to a future underground marketing message like: “Tell us the water company’s name, and for only $100,000 we will shut down all pumps for one week.”

All critical infrastructure organizations have a duty to protect civilization. Without a substantial global investment in OT cyber defense, the next decade could experience significant unexpected loss to primary critical services, like power, drinking water, and wastewater management. Read the post at Dragos