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America Is Being Held for Ransom. It Needs to Fight Back.

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Businesses attacked. Data stolen. Miles of pipeline shut down.  The scourge known as ransomware — in which hackers shut down electronic systems until a ransom is paid — is worse than ever. Over the past few months, these attacks have leaked sensitive government data, thwarted the operations of hundreds of businesses and even temporarily shut down one of the United States’ biggest oil pipelines. The newest cybergang on the street — Groove, a motley crew of criminals that has already leaked 500,000 private passwords — has taken to threatening President Biden directly. (It’s likely, of course, to be sheer bluster.  To really address the issue, the administration must develop an offensive strategy, too — and fight back.


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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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From the article:" To combat the ransomware problem, the Biden administration has so far taken a two-prong approach: concerted diplomacywith nations harboring cybercriminals and expanded defensive capabilities at home. These are critically important efforts. But to really address the issue, the administration must develop an offensive strategy, too and fight back.

"Diplomacy with Russia, even if it succeeds, won't be sufficient. Despite repeated requests from the Biden administration, there is no evidence that President Vladimir Putin of Russia has taken any action to put pressure on ransomware criminals operating within Russian borders. Instead, after a brief hiatus in August, REvil, the Russian-speaking group that claimed responsibility for this summer's attacks on numerous American businesses, has brought its servers back online.

"Although the most potent ransomware groups are believed to be operating from Russia, other countries, including North Koreaand Iran, are also major players, and cybercrime from these nations is even more worrisome. America has significantly less diplomatic leverage over North Korea and Iran than it does over Russia. Both North Korea and Iran are already subject to extensive U.S. sanctions, so gently asking, or even sternly insisting, that they stop ransomware groups simply won't work."


Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021 at 8:18:38 AM

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Fred W

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Reply to Susan Lee Schwartz:   New Content

What do you think the government should do?

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 at 2:50:46 PM

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Reply to Fred W:   New Content

For starters they should investigate the origins from the US or Canada according to the time zone on the UTC time zone of the operations is UTC-8 (West Coast, US/Canada), here and disclose any real facts rather than just accuse the usual suspects.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 at 7:36:43 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Reply to George King:   New Content

OH MY.. It's not the hackers from Russia or China? It is US! Thanks so much for the links to the truth.I was worried that our electric grid or telecommunications networks were vulnerable! Phew.. you set it straight with all your factual info!

You see. I do worry that protecting U.S. networks from cyberattacks launched domestically, which emerges as an intelligence blind spot, as security experts say: Massive Hacks Linked to Russia, China Exploited U.S. Internet Security Gap

BUT... you choose to disagree with my argument, with an article to an isolated incident. It did not lead to any facts, or to information from our national security experts who pursue the reality out there, which is how the Russian hackers used our own system to hack us... or to articles like this. .I mean, I need to ignore the Wall Street Journal, too?

And of course, this must be a mistake: Campaigns vulnerable to hacking: Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill confirms Russian hacking attempt

But I agree that our own government and our political operatives for both parties hack away: .Private spyware allowed governments to hack cellphones of journalists and activists, carrying global implications. Here are key takeaways from the Pegasus Project.

And then there is our corporations with their unlimited overreach

Actually, IMO Our brains are being hacked and it is in Cyberspace where the chaos reaches the most vulnerable -- our stressed and ignorant citizens who know little about science, let alone technology., or political machinations.

The Web is certainly a transformative technology, just as TV and radio and newspapers once were. There is virtually no opinion an individual can hold that is so outlandish that he will not find other believers on the Web. The web, like the internet, is a collective hallucination, a set of independent efforts united by common technological protocols to appear as a seamless, magical whole.This absence of central control, or even easy central monitoring, has long been celebrated as an instrument of grassroots democracy and freedom. It's not trivial to censor a network as organic and decentralized as the internet. But more recently, these features have been understood to facilitate vectors for individual harassment and societal destabilization, with no easy gating points through which to remove or label malicious work not under the umbrellas of the major social-media platforms, or to quickly identify their sources. While both assessments have power to them, they each gloss over a key feature of the distributed web and internet: Their designs naturally create gaps of responsibility for maintaining valuable content that others rely on. Links work seamlessly until they don't. And as tangible counterparts to online work fade, these gaps represent actual holes in humanity's knowledge."

Researchers are finding more and more that online misinformation fuels the spread of diseases such as tooth decay, Ebola, and measlesHow Misinfodemics Spread Disease - The Atlantic - Medium

" and then there is this 'hack job', the days before the attack on the Capitol, the DC Protests were hit By Social Media Disinformation Campaign. Look where that led..to all those peaceful protesters looking to hang Pence and kill Pelosi

Personally, IMHO all of us are being hacked by the 'grifters'out there, who push their mendacity. "We're on the back-end of a 40-year grift started by Ronald Reagan and run by the Republican Party and a few cranky rightwing billionaires." Our heads have been hacked... how else can anyone explain the response of 30% of Americans who believe that their "freedom"extends to a personal behavior that can kill others.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 24, 2021 at 4:03:51 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Reply to Fred W:   New Content

Not my job. Why don't YOU tell us what should be done?

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 at 8:27:52 PM

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