The danger of Ransomware cyberattacks and 9/11 attack is alike – FBI director warns

Washington: The challenges posed to national security by the 9/11 terror attack and recent US cyberattacks are alike, claimed the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). FBI Director Christopher Wray drew attention to the fact that both the attacks compelled the ordinary citizens to face immense turmoil. Three years ago, US cybersecurity experts had warned that in future, cyberattacks would be as dangerous as the 9/11 terrorist attack.   


Over the last year, the US has faced a series of major cyberattacks. These attacks have targeted leading companies such as Microsoft, SolarWinds and FireEye, alongside crucial government agencies. In addition, the number of ‘Ransomware’ cyberattacks in the United States have risen in the last month. In May, the cyberattack targeted Colonial Pipeline, the most extensive US pipeline system.    

The DarkSide group extorted $5 million from Colonial Pipeline as ransom during the attack. Following that, JBS, the largest meat processing company in the United States, was targeted with a cyberattack. Soon after, cyberattacks were launched on a ferry service and two TV news stations in the United States. Reportedly, these are also Ransomware attacks. Against this background, the FBI director draws much attention by comparing these cyberattacks to the 9/11 attack.   

The FBI director said these attacks had affected ordinary citizens in the United States. Wray thereby underscored that there is a growing awareness among US citizens over the issue of cyberattacks. Currently, the FBI is investigating over 100 different types of Ransomware, and they are significantly extensive, said FBI Director Wray. The FBI Director at the time also accused Russia of being responsible for the cyberattacks.    

Meanwhile, on Thursday, two TV news channels of Cox Media, the WFTV and the WPXI, were targeted by cyberattacks. Sources informed that both these TV channels were not operational on Thursday and Friday.     

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