Will 2021 be remembered as the year of the cyberattack?
Two more high-profile breaches occurred over the last few days, with hackers breaking into the New York City Law Department’s computer system this weekend, and the company that provides email newsletter service to the House of Representatives falling victim to a ransomware attack.
This followed recent ransomware attacks on key businesses — including the global meat supplier JBS and the Colonial Pipeline Co., which provides gasoline for much of the East Coast — prompting President Joe Biden to label the problem a national security threat.
According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. House breach involved iConstituent, which provides an external email service, but did not affect any House data.
The office of the House chief administrative officer released a statement saying it was “coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data.”
Meanwhile, the hack at the New York City Law Department prompted the city to limit access to the network. The breach was first spotted on Saturday (June 5), city spokesperson Laura Feyer told The Wall Street Journal on Monday (June 7). Feyer said it’s not clear whether private or sensitive data was stolen and that the hackers did not ask for a ransom. The Journal noted that the city comptroller’s office completed an audit last month of the Law Department’s security and access controls and issued numerous recommendations.
PYMNTS reported last week that the FBI is currently investigating more than 100 types of ransomware, with FBI Director Christopher Wray comparing the problem to the Bureau’s investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks. “There are a lot of parallels, there’s a lot of importance, and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention,” Wray told The Wall Street Journal recently. “There’s a shared responsibility — not just across government agencies, but across the private sector and even the average American.”