Cyber-attacks have been the new trend of warfare brought by technological advancements globally, and they are causing huge upsets for established corporations. The computer world technology triggered the emerging of hackers who pledged their lives in coming up with tech-ways of penetrating cybersecurity systems and dissolving any firewalls strategies put in place to curb any unwanted access to information. Hackers pose a threat to security on all levels, from personal to nation-wide, and can even threaten the safety of information on a global scale. With the world going digital, computer technology and information technology are slowly becoming the top-ranked professions where one can make a viable living as soon as they leave school.
The development of any enterprise is measured in relation to the technological improvements that are taking place. Almost every corporation has employed the services of a computer guru who ushered the institution from the ‘analogy era’ to the ‘digital one.’ A lot of effort is being exerted as companies, government institutions, schools, and churches are in the run to digitalize their platform to keep up with the current tech improvements ever-changing in the contemporary world.
However, these developments are now a breeding ground for hackers. Technology hackers can be likened to kidnappers who take advantage of a porous system to enter and penetrate available information. Then the hackers demand ransom in exchange for the seized information. There are many variants of this form of crime which is rampant amid tech innovations and inventions. Initially, people were hacking each other on a small scale level, like a wife hacking her husband’s phone if she suspects infidelity. This extended to school-going children, especially those at a tertiary level like colleges and universities, who started tapping into the schools’ digital platform to change their grades and input higher marks. A lot of reports were recorded of how grades were being changed in various databases belonging to education facilities.
But the highest form of such criminal activities has been witnessed by hackers targeting huge institutions like the Kasaya, government facilities, and Federal Agencies establishments. These criminals are finance parasites in search of a ‘fat’ pay-out through illegal means. Some hackers are not after money, but they focus on stealing valuable information about a country, especially those who attack Federal Agencies’ establishments and Military Bases. Information is critical and can either be sold to the highest bidder for a large amount, be used to spill a nation’s secrets, or as a blueprint in starting a war.
The United States of America is currently being terrorized by these ‘computer heads’ that are causing havoc at the Kasaya institution. Kebaya is a US software firm, and recent cyber-attacks have affected a lot of companies worldwide. Reports online depict that FireEye’s cybersecurity company has failed to bring the system online after it was encrypted by hackers believed to be REVil, a Russian-speaking syndicate. CEO of Kasaya Fred Voccola had assured the people that the system would be restored to normality after a few hours. However, it shows that his plan failed to work as the system is still encrypted [Source] while the REvil group is demanding Bitcoin cash amounting to $70 million. Russia was previously accused of committing the same crime back in 2020 by causing the “SolarWinds” hacking series, which reached about 18 000 customers [Source].
Kenya officials have warned their customers not to click on any given link as such links might be ‘weaponized.’ The US president Joe Biden had laid out concerns over Russia’s involvement in hacking activities. At a meeting with Putin, he made it clear that the US will fight back any form of attack from Russia [Source]. A short period after the presidents’ meeting, these huge intense cyber-attacks happen, so president Biden might be forced to take serious action against Russia if it is proven that Russia is involved. Currently, REvil is acknowledged to be behind the attacks, and some US cybersecurity agents believe so. Still, Biden is waiting for concrete evidence, and he noted that he had not dismissed the Russians as culprits.
Russia was once accused of hacking into the US Federal Agencies this year. The Federal officials revealed that the Treasury and Commerce Departments’ defenses were breached and emails systems tapped into. This act was attributed to hackers working on behalf of a certain foreign government [Source]. US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have advised the government to properly devise an appropriate action that will hinder any future hacks of this magnitude and deter the culprits from walking all over information databases. Others think that it might wise to target the specific group REvil and finally put a cap on all their operations on US soil.
Kasaya’s CEO refused to comment on whether the firm will pay the ransom or not, but he was clear on calling these hackers terrorists and denied negotiating with them. Other technology firms’ officials believe that if the ransom is paid, then a series of cyber-attacks will come as these hackers have the confidence of getting paid and not getting caught [Source]. The decision to be taken by Kasaya will affect how other victims will respond to the same fate in the future. No recorded responses have come in from Russia or Moscow concerning this issue. Still, because of its intensity, Moscow will have to comment on its citizens who are being blamed for a heinous crime in the US. Such incidents tend to disrupt the already staggering US-Russian relations and cause more damage between the two countries.
Kebaya is bound to lose profits, just like what happened with a meat producer company JBS which was also hacked in June by REvil, who claimed responsibility soon after. JBS was forced to pay a ransom of $11 million because its finances were being drained [Source]. Given these perennial problems of ‘foreign’ hackers, it might be time that the US president launches a plan to safeguard corporations from future attacks.