A group of Russian hackers, known as Darkside, managed to penetrate the gas pipeline that supplies most of the south-eastern United States, on May 6th, 2021, becoming one of the biggest cyber attacks to date. Around 100 GB of customer data were stolen and a ransomware attack - the encryption of their files and the following demand for a ransom – took place the next day. Colonial, the company responsible for the pipeline, had to shut its pipeline down for six days and is currently in a gradual process of restoring its operations to normal.
The attack is the most significant on US oil infrastructure in history, forcing President Biden to declare a state of emergency and take extraordinary measures to avert a major supply crisis. Biden's latest move was the enactment of an Executive Order to strengthen cybersecurity infrastructure of US institutions and improve the protection of the federal government's network.
A long list of cyber-attacks
The recent cybersecurity incident in the United States adds to the already long list of cyber vulnerabilities. In March, SEPE (the Spanish State Public Employment Service) suffered a cyber-attack that knocked down its entire network infrastructure, leaving its system inactive for four days, almost causing delay in the payment of unemployment benefits of thousands of unemployed people.
Likewise, in early May a cyber-attack on an Asturian cloud services company left many Spanish national institutions, such as the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECyT), the Court of Auditors, or the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), as well as some Spanish City Halls, without external IT services.
The latest victim was the Irish healthcare system, under cyber-attack since last Thursday, which caused cancellations on their services.
This list of recent incidences shows that a strong and trustworthy cybersecurity protection is essential to today’s society and to the continuity of businesses and governments around the world.
The relevance of a robust system and the need of true random numbers
Global companies are making efforts to improve the level of security of all IT systems, as those on post-quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution.
In response to that, at Quside we design, engineer and manufacture high-speed quantum random number generators to power existing and emerging cryptographic systems.
Our FMC 400 randomness modules provide the needed high-performance randomness generation to power next-generation security solutions. A key element to prevent cyber attacks like the one described above from happening.
As cyber vulnerabilities are a reality right now and the advances in quantum computing and AI will accelerate this problem, any company or organization should think about elevating their cybersecurity. Especially, if you are dealing with critical data such as in health, banking, corporate, government and defense you should be on your journey to be quantum-ready.