The shutdown of Colonial Pipeline, which delivers gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel to much of the East Coast, is a reminder that essential institutions and the people they serve are vulnerable to potentially devastating cyberattacks.
Like a growing number of appliances, the “smart” air fryer I bought can connect to a home Wi-Fi network so that it can be controlled via a smartphone app or by voice through Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart speakers.
A ransomware attack can encrypt data or lock you completely out of your device. It can also be used as a form of blackmail or extortion if the hacker finds something that they think may embarrass or incriminate you. Although victims are often large companies or public agencies, it can affect small businesses or people at home.