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June 8, 2021 22 min

In the past few weeks, some of the biggest industries in the U.S. have been held up by cyberattacks.

The first big infiltration was at Colonial Pipeline, a major conduit of gas, jet fuel and diesel to the East Coast. Then, J.B.S., one of the world’s largest beef suppliers, was hit.

The so-called ransomware attacks have long been a worry. But who are the hackers and how can they be stopped?

Guest: Nicole Perlroth, a reporter covering cybersecurity and digital espionage for The New York Times. 

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The Daily is doing a live online event: We follow up with students and faculty from our series Odessa. And we hear from the team who made the documentary. Times subscribers can join us June 10.

Background reading: 

  • The Biden administration has taken steps to counter the growing threat of cyberattacks on U.S. businesses. The F.B.I. director compares the danger of ransomware to the 9/11 terror threat.
  • As the ransomware industry exploded, a Russian-speaking outfit called DarkSide offered would-be computer criminals not just the tools, but also customer support. Here’s how the group became a hacking powerhouse.
  • It’s been almost a decade since Leon Panetta, then the secretary of defense, warned of an impending “Cyber Pearl Harbor.” He didn’t want to be right.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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