Cybercriminals seem to be out for blood these days. They have been stepping up attacks, making them nastier and more widespread. The latest incident happened this week in the form of ransomware dubbed GoldenEye.
It is similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide in the way it spread through systems like a worm. These ransomware attacks could feel more like child's play compared to the massive cyberattack that is inevitably on the way.
Why you need to be worried about the next big cyberattack
There's a cyberattack coming, and it's going to be a big one. Whether it's an attack on the power grid, air traffic control, the stock market, a weakness we haven't found yet, or all of the above, you can count on serious confusion and chaos to result.
Millions of cyberattacks already take place around the world every day. So many that there is a website that lets you watch digital attacks happening in the world in real time.
Just so we're clear, I'm telling you this so you can prepare, not panic. That way when a digital Paul Revere starts yelling, "The hackers are coming! The hackers are coming!" you won't be taken by surprise.
One security professional is already sounding the alarm. His name is Golan Ben-Oni and he is the global chief information officer at IDT, a telecommunications company.
He recently described to the New York Times a horrifying incident that impacted his company's computer network. In April, IDT Corporation was hit with two hacking tools that had been stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked online. EternalBlue and DoublePulsar were the tools used to attack IDT.
Ben-Obi spoke with the FBI, security officials with the White House and other security organizations to warn of the attack. Two weeks after IDT was hit, WannaCry ransomware spread globally and changed security agencies' focus. Ben-Obi believes the attack on his company was worse than WannaCry and that it's most likely happening to tens of thousands of other systems around the globe.
What makes the attack on IDT scary is, it not only infected its computers with ransomware, but it also stole credentials from employees on the network. The ransom demand could just be a disguise, trying to throw experts off from finding the real threat that is ongoing. With employee credentials, cybercriminals could steal critical data or even destroy machines.
Hospitals, water treatment plants, transportation networks and other utilities could all be infected. An attack on these types of systems could seriously put lives at risk.
Ben-Oni told The New York Times, "The world is burning about WannaCry, but this is a nuclear bomb compared to WannaCry. This is different. It's a lot worse. It steals credentials.
"You can't catch it, and it's happening right under our noses. The world isn't ready for this."
The New York Times article is extremely eye-opening and you should take the time to read the entire piece. Click here to read the full story.