The common consensus is that the future of warfare will be fought cyberspace. Unfortunately, that future is the present as once trivial cyberattacks become deadly for the average person. While we once had to worry about malware and spyware, we now have to worry about killware.
In an interview with USA today, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned that Killware is a very real threat. Instead of attacks designed to siphon an individual's private information, these attacks are designed with death in mind.
Killware was used in attempted water poisoning
Mayorkas explained that a cyberattack earlier this year targeted the water supply in Florida. He said:
“There was a cyber incident that very fortunately did not succeed. And that is an attempted hack of a water treatment facility in Florida, and the fact that that attack was not for financial gain but rather purely to do harm.”
The attack on Florida’s Oldsmar water treatment facility aimed to increase the amount of chemicals in the water supply. Hackers attempted to introduce 100-times the amount of lye within Florida’s water supply. Needless to say, this would've been deadly to those who consumed it.
Cyberattacks are increasing in severity and frequency
Mayorkas warned that the current threat of cyberattacks is only getting worse. As more and more important facilities move towards all-digital operations, the threat of killware attacks increases. He continued:
“The attempted hack of this water treatment facility in February 2021 demonstrated the grave risks that malicious cyber activity poses to public health and safety. The attacks are increasing in frequency and gravity, and cybersecurity must be a priority for all of us.”
Other killware attacks have also been identified going as far back as 2017. While these killware attempts have, as of yet, been unsuccessful, it's only a matter of time before something does happen. Essentially, deadly remote hacks are no longer laughable bits of Hollywood schlock. They're real.
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