SC Mag: "Attacks on critical infrastructure are harbingers of war: Are we prepared?"

1031aab4-2bca-4a16-954b-1b29865df04cI just found a great post by Morgan Wright, chief security advisor of SentinelOne. Here is a quick summary and a link to the full article is at the bottom. The recent attacks on water authorities like Aliquippa and St. Johns River have cast a spotlight on the vulnerability of critical infrastructure.

Such attacks are not just about causing physical damage; they strike at the core of society, threatening our basic needs for water, power, and safety. These incidents should be seen as potential precursors to larger conflicts, highlighting an urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

Why are these infrastructures targeted? The answer lies in their psychological and strategic importance. Unlike a temporary bank outage, disruptions in essential services like power and water supply immediately impact daily life, invoking a survival instinct among the populace. This was evident during the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, which led to widespread panic and hoarding of fuel, despite there being no actual fuel shortage.

This strategy of targeting critical infrastructure is known as Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB), a concept originating from the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. It's a method to anticipate and influence enemy actions. Major global powers like Russia, China, and Iran have different motivations for such attacks. While Russia and China focus on IPB for strategic positioning, Iran's attacks, such as the one on Aliquippa, are more ideologically driven.

China's extensive preparation for digital and physical conflict is evident from their activities, including cyber attacks on critical US infrastructure. The US Department of Justice has also indicted Russian nationals for targeting critical infrastructure, highlighting the global scale of this threat.

The use of ransomware in IPB is particularly concerning. The FBI's 2022 report noted a significant number of ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure, often with the tacit approval of adversarial states. These attacks are not just financially motivated but serve broader strategic objectives.

As we approach the eighth anniversary of Russia's BlackEnergy malware attack on Ukraine's power grid, the lessons are clear. Understanding both the enemy and our own vulnerabilities is crucial, as Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" advises. These attacks are a stark reminder of the new battleground in cybersecurity: protecting the critical infrastructure that underpins our society. The urgency to fortify our defenses against such threats has never been greater, which starts with preventing social engineering attacks.

Live Demo: Identify and Respond to Email Threats Faster with PhishER

With only approximately 1 in 10 user-reported emails being verified as actually malicious, how do you not only handle the phishing attacks and threats—and just as importantly—effectively manage the other 90% of user-reported messages accurately and efficiently? PhishER.


To learn how, get a product demonstration of the new PhishER Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform. In this live one-on-one demo we will show you how easy it is to identify and respond to email threats faster:

  • Automate prioritization of email messages by rules you set that categorize messages as Clean, Spam, or Threat
  • Augment your analysis and prioritization of messages with PhishML, a PhishER machine-learning module
  • Search, find, and remove email threats with PhishRIP, PhishER’s new email quarantine feature for Microsoft 365 and G Suite
  • NEW! Automatically flip active phishing attacks into safe simulated phishing campaigns with PhishFlip. You can even replace active phishing emails with safe look-alikes in your user’s inbox.
  • Easily integrate with KnowBe4's email add-in button, Phish Alert, or forwarding to a mailbox works too!

Request A Demo

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

Subscribe to Our Blog

Comprehensive Anti-Phishing Guide

Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews