Colonial Pipeline, the US company that operates the US pipeline network affected by a cyberattack, paid a $ 5 million ransom to the hackers who attacked it. This is what was reported by Bloomberg and was repeated in the media around the world.
What does this state mean? Everything indicates that cryptocurrency, due to its untraceable properties, could be an ideal haven for organized crime.
Cyber terrorists have discovered a fertile field to operate anonymously (for now). If this happens with a company incorporated and operating in the US, which applies strict controls to everything, where the concept of hyper-vigilance comes to life, we can already imagine what it has in store for us in other parts of the world. Have other companies been attacked by hackers, but these cases have not emerged?
Given its characteristics, this fact seems to indicate that it was not the first time and it will not be the last. Cryptocurrencies, which have gained space in some parts of the world, and especially in developed countries, face a hurdle: there is no specific issuer, so at their core they are assets secured by a chain of blocks that rely on the appetite and confidence of their investors.
And good to repeat it: That network control ransom payment is a sign that it didn’t look like it was the first time. The company paid (expensively) what is called in economics an “opportunity cost”, because cyber terrorists knew that the Colonial pipeline could not afford to stay long without controlling its operations, due to the economic costs this represented and, moreover, because of its It negatively affected his reputation.
According to FBI data, the attack was the work of a group of hackers identified as Darkside, who operate from Eastern Europe. Historically, the United States has maintained a policy of not paying any ransom that terrorists demand, as this encourages or spurs more issues to emerge.
This case not only tells us how dangerous cyber terrorists are, but how high technology can be used to do harm. Also, if we think about it, high-tech crimes are more frequent than we might imagine, they just don’t go beyond as if they affect people’s daily lives, like fuel supplies for road and air transportation.
I’m sure of one thing: Because of the transcendent nature of this attack on a company providing such a sensitive service, such as transporting fuel through oil pipelines, it has raised alarms for decision-makers around the world, who (certainly) know that prevention will be necessary to prevent these attacks from continuing. . Millions of people could be in danger.
Unfortunately, and the world should know this, we will have to deal with this type of crime frequently as technology “dominates” our daily lives.