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Cruel Cyberattacks in 2021 Prove Everyone Is a Potential Victim

Cyberattacks and ransomware targeted a more extensive range of victims this year. Not all of them make sense and one is an ironic twist of fate.

Cyberattacks, especially with the twist known as ransomware, have no limits. The first half of this year has seen attacks on infrastructure gas lines, meatpacking plants, computer manufacturers, TV stations, public schools, planes, automotive, and the like.

Ransomware attacks have taken over the headlines so far in 2021 and include such organizations and companies as Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and many others. According to the U.S. Government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Assurance Agency (CISA): “Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware actors often target and threaten to sell or leak exfiltrated data or authentication information if the ransom is not paid.”

This rogues gallery of criminal organizations highlights only a few of the significant cyberattacks and ransomware that have taken place in the first half of 2021.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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