Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Profit-driven cyberattacks are becoming frighteningly routine

Profit-driven cyberattacks are becoming frighteningly routine, with more and more industries facing the threat of having their vital information stolen and little recourse beyond paying a ransom.

Why it matters: Such attacks may be motivated by profit, but as recent events have shown, can cause significant disruption to vital industries.


Driving the news:

  • JBS and Colonial Pipeline have both confirmed they paid ransoms after recent high-profile attacks, while cities and hospitals have also forked over payments to regain control of their data.
  • Electronic Arts suffered a data breach that included source code for some of its games.

What they're saying:

  • "We think the cyber threat is increasing almost exponentially," FBI director Christopher Wray said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The big picture: Two factors are responsible for accelerating the ransomware problem. First, the rise of cryptocurrency makes it easy for data hijackers to collect their ransom. Second, many companies simply can't afford to risk losing their data.

Yes, but: Experts say the key to slowing the trend is turning the tables on attackers through collective action.

  • "The key to disrupting ransomware is disrupting the ransomware supply chain," Gurvais Grigg, an FBI veteran who is now public sector CTO at crypto firm Chainalysis, said on the Axios Re:Cap podcast.
  • The Justice Department said last week it plans to start addressing cyberattacks in much the way it approaches the fight against terrorism.

Go deeper: Ransomware business achieves critical mass

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories