- The world is currently undergoing an “unparalleled amount of cybersecurity activity,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told recently.
- “Past six months, we have seen a moving uptick in attacks against our customers,” Prince said.
- Prince’s remarks come in the wake of the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline.
According to CEO Matthew Prince, Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company, has seen a significant increase in threats directed at its customers in recent months, who spoke to CNBC on Monday.
Prince’s remarks, made in a “TechCheck” interview, came only days after Colonial Pipeline was struck by a ransomware cyberattack, forcing the organisation to proactively shut down operations on a critical piece of US petroleum infrastructure. On Monday, the company stated that some parts of the pipeline are already operational, with the aim of “substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”
“I think it’s a huge problem right now that we’re seeing more and more critical infrastructure being attacked by these types of attackers around the board,” Prince told CNBC.
According to the FBI, the Colonial Pipeline attack was carried out by a relatively new hacker community known as DarkSide.
“I believe what’s going on, anecdotally, is that attackers believe their time is running out as governments around the world consider cracking down more and more on these cybersecurity incidents,” said Prince. He co-founded Cloudflare in 2009 in San Francisco.
“They seem to be unleashing something because we’ve seen a drastic increase in attacks against our customers in the last six months,” Prince continued, adding that the world is currently witnessing an “unparalleled amount of cybersecurity activity.”
Another high-profile cybersecurity incident that has surfaced in recent months is the SolarWinds hack, which targeted US government agencies and major tech companies. The attack was made public in December, and the US has since concluded that Russians were most likely responsible.
Cloudflare’s stock is down about 9% so far this year, despite a year-to-date gain of more than 160 per cent.
Former NSA hacker David Kennedy, now the founder and CEO of security company TrustedSec, agreed with Prince’s assessment of the cyber environment, telling CNBC that the degree of ransomware attacks is particularly concerning.
“For many of these firms, the only option is to pay the ransom to reclaim their entire company. There are major corporations. Ransomware affects businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars. On Monday’s “Power Lunch,” Kennedy said, “It’s out of balance.”
“Not just DarkSide, but all these other ransomware groups are making hundreds of millions of dollars a year off of ransomware,” Kennedy said, adding that there is “no sign” of a decline. “In reality, ransomware activity has increased by 300 per cent this year alone, and it’s just happening all the time, unfortunately.”
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