Ransomware attacks are “death by a 1,000 cuts”
Jun 8, 2021
Episode 449

Ransomware attacks are “death by a 1,000 cuts”

Expert Robert Latiff says "cyber hygiene" is fine, but the U.S. needs more holistic action to protect critical infrastructure.

There was a successful ransomware attack every eight minutes last year, according to one cybersecurity firm, some 65,000.

The few that have made headlines so far in 2021 are startling: slowing meat processor JBS had knock-on effects all over the supply chain, the Colonial Pipeline attack led to gas shortages, the NBA is recovering from a hack, hospitals and police departments have been targeted. And those are just the ones we know about.

These attacks are on the rise, rely on cryptocurrency and often come from overseas, but attributing these attacks to Russia or other geopolitical rivals obscures just how hard they are to fight.

“[Attackers] may be state backed-enterprises, but I don’t think the the big, devastating, start-a-war attacks are actually going to come,” said Robert Latiff, author of “Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield. “It’s going to be more death by 1,000 cuts.”

On today’s show, Latiff tells us why American infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks and the holistic approach from the federal government needed to fight them. In other words, don’t hold your breath.

Later in the show, we’ll delve into how the wealthiest Americans avoid income tax and pick up the National Doughnut Day debate from Friday’s episode.

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer