Internet Threats Affect Us All
In a recent AP interview published online at https://apnews.com, the FBI special agent in charge of the New Orleans office described threats cybercriminals pose in his area. The focus was on Louisiana and the Mississippi River, but the same or similar threats exist in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and other major metropolitan areas and waterways.
Here is a summary of the threats:
- Traffic: Vessels and their passengers or crews with intent to do harm, possibly affecting the entire United States economy.
- Infrastructure security systems: Pipelines, refineries and ports could be subject to cyber attack; disruption could affect national and international commerce.
- Theft of money or critical information, possibly by state sponsored actors. According to the FBI, cyber crime cost $2.9 billion between October 2013 and May 2018.
- Terror attacks on computer and safety systems.
- Attacks on public utilities including flood control and drinking water.
To counter these threats, businesses need disaster mitigation and recovery plans. The FBI has 20 people in Louisiana alone working on cybersecurity, and partners with other federal agencies and the private sector. They have a website for their Internet Crime Complaint Center, a source of information and a place to report cybercrime.