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Ross: Not one hacked computer was smart enough to alert its owners

A poster showing six wanted Russian military intelligence officers is displayed before a news conference at the Department of Justice, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, pool)

The Justice Department has charged six Russian military intelligence officers with a series of cyberattacks two years ago that scrambled computers at a Pennsylvania medical network, at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and even turned off the power to part of Ukraine for an hour.

I read through the indictment – and what’s amazing is that even though the hackers erased the log files to hide their tracks, U.S. investigators were able to trace them to an address in Russia: 22 Kirova Street.

They would send out emails with attachments that were poisoned with malware that would erase all the system files, or quietly forward data to 22 Kirova Street in Moscow – and it would all happen unbeknownst to the hackees.

Because as usual, NOT ONE of the hacked computers was smart enough to alert its owners. Despite all that artificial intelligence, most computers are still too dumb to say, “Hey – did you just order me to turn off the lights in Ukraine?” Or, “HEY! Did you just give me an order to send all your private data to 22 Kirova Street?”

And that’s the real problem: There are still all these asymptomatic computers that don’t realize they’re spreading malware. And until that changes, someone needs to send a backhoe crew to 22 Kirova Street that somehow forgets to call before they dig.

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