Ross: It’s time for ‘good guy’ hackers to level the playing field
Here it is again: Bloomberg reports that CNA Financial, which sells insurance, was hit by a ransomware attack and paid the ransom, which may have been as much as $40 million.
That makes the Colonial Pipeline ransom a bargain at $4.4 million.
This time the culprit was – according to Bloomberg – the Russian cybercrime operation, “Evil Corp.”
That’s what it’s called, probably to avoid any confusion with “Good Guy Corp.”
The Good Guys are finding ways to fight back – the group that pulled off the pipeline caper, DarkSide, had to shut down after it “lost access to the infrastructure.” I think that means somebody’s government, very likely ours, also has some pretty good hackers.
But apparently it was too late to get the money back, which guarantees this will keep happening.
This is where I hope the world’s smartest computer geniuses, many of whom live and work right here and are now independently wealthy, will take on the role of Equalizer.
I love that TV show – Queen Latifah and her team of cyberwarriors can hack anything.
It’s time to make that real. America needs teams of keyboard superheroes with powers far beyond those of ordinary programmers who can quietly but decisively separate the bad guys from their stolen Bitcoin with some kind of exploding digital dye-pack.
How good would it feel to be the person smart enough to track down the pirates and make their blockchain treasure suddenly vanish?
I know there are those of you who can do it. And so I’m hoping you’ll make it your hobby. I don’t know how you’ll do it, and I don’t want to know, but what I do know is that until the members of “Evil Corp” and “DarkSide” pay a personal price, they will little-by-little, and ransom-by-ransom, spread chaos, which will turn into unrest — and go downhill from there.
The internet was originally designed as a way for trusted colleagues to share information among themselves. It is totally unsuited to protect us from organized sabotage.
If we’re going to stake our economy on it, it’s going to need a makeover. And to stave off disaster in the meantime, we’ll need some superheroes.
Evil Corp is now actively recruiting, with the promise of fat pay checks. America needs good guys who can make sure they bounce.
Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.
- Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.