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Hawaiian Electric was attacked daily by hackers while the White House warned about ransomware

Honolulu (KHON2) — The country has been hit by a virus-induced epidemic, but not COVID-19.

Ransomware has already raised meat and gas prices nationwide and is now Whitehouse officials warn About cyber attacks on utilities.

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Ransomware is malware that locks your computer until the user pays the hacker a ransom and is often requested in the form of cryptocurrencies or gift cards.

Hawaiian Electric (HECO) is familiar with cyber attacks. HECO spends millions of dollars on cybersecurity each year. As hackers become more sophisticated, their numbers increase by 20% each year.

“We repel thousands of attacks and investigations every day,” said HECO spokesman Shannon Tangonan.

HECO adds that staff can keep the power on manually in the event of an attack. This is very important as Hawaii is home to several military bases.

“On Oahu, it’s not just the security of the grid, it’s the security of the nation, so it’s our responsibility to keep the military lights serious,” said Tangonan.

Hawaii-based retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel Hal Kampfer says countries like Russia and China are attacking as well as the United States, but the United States is attacking more than its defense capabilities. ..

“The concern was that they had bots in our utilities, and they generally thought we had bots in their utilities, and mutual assured destruction was so much. Not many, but there was another MAD that was mutual assured destruction, that is, if they turned off our lights, we would turn them off, “Kenfer said.

The Hawaii Department of Energy (HSEO) is responsible for coordinating resources and responses between the energy sector in emergencies and the government. Unlike most states in the United States, Hawaii’s power grid is isolated.

“Our grid has its own challenges because we can’t leverage large bulk energy systems to draw power from other areas,” said HSEO Managing Director Chris Junker. Stated.

The state is considering participating in national training exercises that take place every two years.

“There is a biennial GridX exercise hosted by the National Regulatory Utilities Association, and regulated utilities are invited to participate as participants in the grid exercise. This year, it will be held with a focus on cyber elements.” Said the HSEO Program Manager. Mark Want.

The ransomware itself can be very sophisticated, but targeting victims is very easy. Whether it’s a utility, a large company, or an individual, it’s usually just a click away.

“When you click on a link, the suspicious link appears to be legitimate and takes you to the website where you upload this ransomware,” said cybersecurity expert Chris Duque.

Duque tells you to avoid links from unknown senders. Even if the sender is familiar with it, check the address to make sure it matches the sender’s name. Pay attention to the type of USB drive that goes into your computer.

Employees can be trained to detect ransomware attacks, and Duque states that it is important for organizations to train workers to detect suspicious emails and links. However, they are as safe as the least trained employees.

“You can take the greatest technical defenses on all these networks, but the problem is that humans are the weakest inside those defenses, as long as everyone working in the organization has an email address. It’s a link, “said technical expert Ryan Ozawa.

Hawaiian Electric was attacked daily by hackers while the White House warned about ransomware

Source link Hawaiian Electric was attacked daily by hackers while the White House warned about ransomware

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