EDITOR NOTE: Cyberattacks, ransomware. Over the last two weeks, we saw cyber hackers force Colonial Pipeline, the biggest fuel pipeline for the East Coast, to shut down completely. A week later, cyberattacks on Ireland’s healthcare system had shut down critical segments of its operation. We’re used to thinking of cybersecurity risks as intrusions, like bad actors entering a home by way of an unsecured door or window. The World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab uses the metaphor of a pandemic; an illness of an otherwise normal or healthy system. Both point to “external” threats But perhaps the threat is an intrinsic part of the technology itself--like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde composite. Cyberthreats express the optimal potential of digitization’s negative strengths. And as the financial system ushers in a new digital era, particularly with the emergence of central bank digital currencies, it’s going to be a prime target for those with the skills to hack it. What this means is that your financial security and privacy are best achieved through “cold storage.” But in a world where cash is slowly being phased out, your options are limited. Fortunately, the end-limit is the bedrock of monetary value itself--physical gold and silver, non-CUSIP (making its existence non-trackable and surveillance-proof), in cold storage at a secure precious metals depository. As the article below mentions, Klaus Schwab warned us, "cyber attacks will bring our entire society as a whole to a complete halt"... the question is, "Will you heed the warning?"
A ransomware attack on Ireland’s health services today, along with last week’s cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline in the US, are causing major disruptions to critical health and mobility services that citizens depend upon.
“We all know, but still pay insufficient attention to, the frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyber attack, which would bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole” — Klaus Schwab, WEF
Ireland’s Health Executive Service (HSE) announced on Twitter that it was shutting down all of its IT systems as a precaution in the wake of Friday’s “significant ransomware attack.”
There is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems. We have taken the precaution of shutting down all our our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us fully assess the situation with our own security partners.
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) May 14, 2021
In the same thread, HSE announced, “We apologise for inconvenience caused to patients and to the public and will give further information as it becomes available. Vaccinations not effected are going ahead as planned,” and that “the National Ambulance Service are operating as per normal with no impact on emergency ambulance call handling and dispatch nationally.”
Update: “It has emerged this evening that the hackers have since demanded a ransom, but full detail on the demands have not been revealed yet,” according to the Independent.
“The HSE has insisted it will not pay any ransom to hackers in the nationwide ransomware attack, its bosses have insisted.”
“Possibly the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish State”– Ossian Smyth, Ireland’s Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment via RTE
“This is having a severe impact on our health and social care services today” — Stephen Donnelly, Ireland’s Minister of Health
This morning, Ireland’s Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly tweeted that the attack was “having a severe impact on our health and social care services today, but individual services and hospital groups are impacted in different ways,” Donnelly tweeted.
This is having a severe impact on our health and social care services today, but individual services and hospital groups are impacted in different ways. Emergency services continue, as does the @AmbulanceNAS. Updated information will be available @HSELive throughout the day.
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) May 14, 2021
“If this continues to Monday, we will be in a very serious situation and will be cancelling many services” — Anne O’Connor, HSE
If the situation isn’t resolved by the weekend, HSE Chief Operating Officer Anne O’Connor warned that they may be “cancelling many services.”
“More services are working than not today,” O’Connor told reporters on Friday.
“However, if this continues to Monday, we will be in a very serious situation and will be cancelling many services.
“At this moment, we can’t access lists of people scheduled for appointments on Monday so we don’t even know who to cancel,” she added.
While a cyber attack has disrupted healthcare systems in Ireland, the United States has been dealing with its own crisis, with emergency declarations issued across 17 states due to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and subsequent gas shortages.
According to the most recent numbers from GasBuddy, over half the gas stations in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Washington DC are experiencing fuel outages.
Our outage report has been updated this morning. Most recent numbers by state:
DC – 86%
NC – 72%
GA – 51%
SC – 52%
VA – 53%
MD – 42%
— GasBuddy (@GasBuddy) May 14, 2021
Last December, US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Acting Director Brandon Wales testified before Congress that ransomware was “quickly becoming a national emergency.”
“As a general rule, we have recommended against paying ransom, in part because it furthers the business model” — Brandon Wales, CISA
According to Wales, organizations that pay out ransom are exacerbating the problem by furthering the ransomware business model.
Originally posted on The Sociable