Cybersecurity is an ever increasing necessity as ransomware attacks occur more frequently. Three companies, all a part of the transportation and logistics industry, have experienced this in the past few months.
Transportation and Logistics ransomware attacks
On December 15, 2020, Forward Air, a trucking and logistics company located in Tennessee, was attacked by ransomware group Hades, which resulted in a loss of revenue. This targeted attack left the company vulnerable to further data loss and affected both their operational and information technology systems. A note found on their computer screens threatened the total loss of their data unless they complied with the instructions to follow a link to a dark website. No ransom amount was included with the initial message, only a note that the link would provide further instructions. A week later their website was back up and they looked to be on their way to a recovery.
During that same month, another company, OmniTRAX, was attacked and had at least 70 GB stolen and leaked through a well known leak site. OmniTRAX was the first US Freight rail operator company to be targeted by this kind of cyber attack. OmniTRAX, located in Colorado,also refused to comment on the scale of the attack, however they will be inputting more cyber security measures to prevent future attacks.
DSC Logistics, located in Illinois, was also attacked late January of this year. As with the previous companies, they did not comment on the effects of the attack. They did not pay the ransom demanded, apparent by the company being listed on a leak site. However, due to cyber security measures already in place, the attack did minimal damage to the company, with data unknown to have been stolen.With “security practices and response measures” already in place, DSC Logistics was the most prepared for and least affected by a cyber attack (Tabak, 2021). Even so, they are also increasing their cyber security to prevent further damages.
Federal Bureau of Investigation taking steps to take down ransomware gangs
As evident by the location of each of these companies, the entire nation is susceptible to cyber and ransomware attacks. It is a growing concern, and one that our nation is taking steps to eliminate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently disrupted activities of a well known ransomware gang Emotet. They are responsible for millions of computers affected and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The FBI are currently working with private and public entities to stop Emotet from further destruction.
Along with ransomware gangs, individuals involved in these gangs are being investigated. Take Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, a Canadian indicted in Florida. From his charges in the indictment, it is supposed that Desjardins has accumulated over $25 million from cyber crime.
The Department of Justice is also actively pursuing and investigating the ransomware gang NetWalker. NetWalker’s attacks have targeted several different entities, from hospitals to universities. The FBI has seized approximately $500,000 of their ransom payments.
No one is completely safe from ransomware attacks, as evident by these three examples. It is in your best interest to have the security measures in place that will prevent damage to your company and yourself. Do your part by increasing your cybersecurity. If you are a victim of an attack, contact your local FBI authorities and file a report. Every recorded attack helps the effort to stop cyberattacks and ransomware gangs.