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  • The most vulnerable ransomware targets are the institutions we rely on most

    Scientific American - 03/23/2016

    Critical infrastructure, such as dams, power grids and other systems are increasingly linked to the Internet, meaning they, too, are exposed to ransomware. “We’re getting more and more connected in ways that developers of these systems did not envision many years ago,” explains Engin Kirda, a professor of computer science at Northeastern University. “As a result, these systems could be taken down by malware attacks, and the consequences can be difficult to predict.” Experts, however, say that ransomware is less likely to cause major problems for infrastructure than other types of malware because it deals with data rather than interfering with control systems. But Kirda says that, theoretically, ransomware hackers could access certain data that may affect, say, how power is managed. Lieberman agrees: “It’s not inconceivable that an attacker could target an employee of a critical infrastructure company, shut down that company down, and demand a ransom to restore access

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