Ransomware attack on the municipal system of Atlanta city is the headline of the year in US’s local cyber news cycle. The municipal system of the city was brought to a halt by the cryptovirological attack, resulting in the disruption of several public services. Almost five months have gone by, but the city administration is still recovering from the attack. Millions of dollars have been spent on ransomware removal and recovery measures.
The attack has become a case study for the students and experts of digital security. In a recent interview, the deputy director of Homeland’s Cyber Security Region Scott Tousley has also shared his views on the attack and its aftermath. He has termed the attack as ‘red blinking light’. According to Tousley, he gets petrified even at the thought of Atlanta city-style ransomware attack in future. He also fears the future ransomware attacks will start to look like a movie screenplay. Tousley has also pointed towards the huge gap between the rate at which ransomware attack surface is expanding and the pace at which security experts are fixing the digital landscape. For instance, experts succeed in developing ransomware removal protocol for every new ransomware strain surfacing on the cyber horizon. However, they have yet to come up with an effective strategy to prevent the ransomware attacks from happening altogether.
The increasing pervasiveness of IOT and Atlanta-style ransomware attacks
The concept of smart cities is going to materialize really soon. The idea hinges on the Internet of Things-powered devices, which are susceptible to cryptovirological shenanigans, so much so that the entire smart city can be taken hostage through a ransomware activity. This is the implication no one would want to associate with smart cities. Therefore, security researchers have to work on complete prevention of cryptovirological attacks besides sharpening their ransomware removal skills.