“Whether political or villainous, this pandemic deeply threatens all the vital organs of our societies”

Losses and profits. All of our concerns about the risks of the world to come, we are regularly referred to the dangers of the present world. This was the case at the beginning of the year 2020 with the impromptu landing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in our lives, it is the case at the beginning of summer with the multiplication of computer attacks. At the economic meetings in Aix-en-Provence, which took place from July 2 to 4, the many bosses present in the forum discussed new growth, the fight against inequalities, education or climate risk, but very little on cybersecurity.

However, that same weekend, nearly 300 grocery stores of the Swedish chain Coop abruptly ceased all activity due to a computer attack which however did not target them directly. A group of cybercriminals have entered the software of a small Florida company, Kaseya, which supplies its product to hundreds of IT service companies that use it to manage the systems of thousands of small businesses around the world, such as Coop grocery stores. Already, US authorities and the FBI have warned that the scale of the attack will prevent them from responding to every victim.

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The perpetrators of this offensive demand a ransom of $ 70 million in bitcoins to unlock the software. It is the ransomware technique that is now spreading at the speed of a pandemic. The group, known as REvil, to which the attackers are said to be affiliated, has already been identified behind the intrusion that devastated the computer systems of Brazilian meat giant JBS at the end of May.

Political or villainous

The operator of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies the entire east coast of the United States, was attacked in the same conditions, as well as local communities, hospitals and businesses around the world. The current offensive is also reminiscent of the one against the software publisher SolarWinds throughout the year 2020. All eyes were then turned to Russia, suspected of hosting, or even piloting, the pirates. This Saturday, July 3, Joe Biden again stepped up to the plate by ordering an investigation and pointing to Moscow.

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Whether political or purely villainous in origin, this new pandemic deeply threatens all the vital organs of our societies: energy, transport, health, consumption. The specialists recognize the very high level of expertise of the attackers, who are probably not the designers of the weapon, but the users. Computer crime is now controlled by super-specialists capable of exploiting flaws in very sophisticated software. It has a complete value chain, from research to industrialization. And it will take more than one vaccine to eradicate this new scourge.