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Cyber criminals grow more brazen

Over the 4th of July weekend, a cybercriminal gang of thieves struck again, delivering the largest global ransomware attack on record, one affecting thousands of organizations in 17 countries. The attacks are tying up their computers, and the criminals are demanding millions in ransom.

This attack is sophisticated, and designed to reach the maximum number of victims. Instead of targeting single companies, it targeted firms that manage the IT security of other companies. By hacking them, the attackers could access the systems of companies those IT management firms service.

What makes that strategy diabolical is that smaller companies who can’t afford to set up and maintain sophisticated cyberdefense systems of their own have signed on with the IT management companies to provide the service for them. Now the ones supposed to be guarding their data have been used as the conduits for the attackers.

The attackers are known. It is an organization known as REvil, which extorted $11 million from meat processor JBS last month. This group operates out of Russian, where it enjoys safe haven. Russian president Vladimir Putin allows them to operate because it fits with his goal to destabilize the West.

How do we fight these kinds of attacks? The nations of the world must come together to plan defenses, to identify and root out the offenders and to pressure Russia to stop aiding and abetting them.

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