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Top cyber CEO says he’s ‘worried for the world’

Typing on a computer. (Dreamstime/TNS)
July 08, 2022

A top tech executive said he is “worried for the world” in a Twitter post last Thursday night in which he lamented an increase in cyberattacks and “deeply disturbing headlines.”

“Seeing a marked increase in cyberattacks this evening. Combined with the deeply disturbing headlines, fear the world just turned up the crazy dial another notch. We’re ready online at @Cloudflare. But… worried for the world,” tweeted Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, a company that protects websites from cyberattacks.

Prince posted his concerns on the same evening that the website for the U.S. Congress went down in what was apparently a pro-Russian cyberattack.

According to Fox News, the hacking group Killnet took credit for crashing the website around 10 p.m. Thursday evening.

Killnet is known for DoS or denial-of-service attacks, which often involve flooding a network server with traffic to block legitimate users’ access, according to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

“Services affected may include email, websites, online accounts (e.g., banking), or other services that rely on the affected computer or network. A denial-of-service condition is accomplished by flooding the targeted host or network with traffic until the target cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access for legitimate users,” CISA explained. “DoS attacks can cost an organization both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.”

State-backed Russian hackers have ramped up cyberattacks against allies of Ukraine in recent months, targeting over 100 governments, businesses, humanitarian groups and more in dozens of countries around the world, according to a new report released by Microsoft last month.

On Friday, a massive outage hit one of the largest Internet Service Providers in Canada, Rogers Communications. The network issues caused widespread disruptions which impacted banks, police and consumers nationwide.

Law enforcement officials in Ottawa and Toronto said some callers may not be able to reach emergency services, CNBC reported.

“We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected. We are aware of issues currently affecting our networks and our teams are fully engaged to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” Rogers tweeted on Friday. “We will continue to keep you updated as we have more information to share.”

Prince noted that while it is unclear what caused the outage, the source is likely an internal error rather than a cyberattack.

“Based on what we’re seeing and similar incidents at other providers in the past, we believe this is likely to be an internal error, not a cyber attack,” he tweeted.