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Labor Day Weekend Ransomware Warnings: U.S. warns firms to be on guard against hostile network activity

In a press briefing at the White House yesterday, White House deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger reinforced the warning the FBI and CISA released a few days ago:   

“Cyber actors have conducted increasingly impactful attacks against U.S. entities on or around holiday weekends over the last several months. The FBI and CISA do not currently have specific information regarding cyber threats coinciding with upcoming holidays and weekends. Cyber criminals, however, may view holidays and weekends—especially holiday weekends—as attractive timeframes in which to target potential victims, including small and large businesses. In some cases, this tactic provides a head start for malicious actors conducting network exploitation and follow-on propagation of ransomware, as network defenders and IT support of victim organizations are at limited capacity for an extended time.”  

Neuberger added: “We want to raise awareness and this need for awareness is particularly for critical infrastructure owners and operators who operate critical services for Americans.”  

While Neurberg acknowledged that the threats over the weekend were not specific, “we do have this history.”  The largest incidents in 2021 – Colonial Pipeline, JBS and Kaseya – all happened over holidays and weekends.  

The FBI also released a Ransomware threat alert specifically for the Food and Agriculture Companies, pointing out the role their critical infrastructure and supply chain operations play in the health and safety of the public and economy.  

In other OODALoop news, we have updated the Cybersecurity Sensemaking | OODA Loop section with the creation of the USG Cybersecurity Initiatives and Updates | OODA Loop page.     

Permalink: https://www.oodaloop.com/usg-cybersecurity-initiatives-and-updates/  

Direct links related to Labor Day weekend ransomware threat warning from the USG:  

Further USG Ransomware Resources: 

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.