Malware may be life threatening. While you've heard that malware can spread through computer systems to steal your money and ID, hackers are getting much more sophisticated.
That poses a serious problem to everyone. In fact, malware that can shut down power grids has been discovered.
Cybersecurity firms Dragos and ESET have found malware called Crash Override or Industroyer that likely shut down power grids in the Ukraine. Although that country is halfway around the world, an attack by Russia (most likely) on Ukraine's power should alarm everyone.
It is getting the attention of U.S. government officials. Here's why. Just imagine your electricity being turned off by a computer bug. What if you couldn't cook, keep your medicine refrigerated or keep your house cool or warm?
That could put your life in danger. What if the electricity was turned off at hospitals and police stations?
That's why the U.S. government is taking these malware attacks seriously. Although it's likely that only small portions of power grids can be turned off by Crash Override and Industroyer, that could affect thousands of people. Worse, it could take days for cybersecurity experts to turn the power back on.
Note: Did you know that a major U.S. power station was the victim of an Iranian cyber attack? Read about it here.
That's alarming. You may be thinking, "What can I do about this?"
First, make sure you have a plan in place for your family if there is an extended blackout. Have food, supplies, matches, candles and a power source handy.
Second, and more importantly, contact your U.S. representative. Make sure they know that you're concerned about malware attacks on our power grid. Then, ask them what they are doing about it. You can contact your Congressperson here: Find Your Representative.