Cyber Polygon 2021, hosted by the World Economic Forum, starts tomorrow, 09 July 2021. Designed as an exercise to address cybersecurity, cybercrime, and supply chain issues that would flood forth from a breakdown in electronic communications, the implications of the program should not be underestimated.
Recent ransonware attacks offer some insight into the dangers of cybercrime, and the high value of cybersecurity. Examples would be the Colonial Pipeline attack from 07 May 2021, the ransomware attack on JBS Meat Packing on 01 June 2021, and most recently the ransomware attack on Kaseya that may have affected more than 1,500 companies worldwide.
Are these cyber assaults a precursor to even greater and more damaging intrusions? Do they suggest that there are more to come? The questions being asked are serious, speculation surrounding the subject is plentiful, and the potential reality is terrifying. One example would be the concerns expressed about the timing of the World Economic Forum’s cyber pandemic event in relationship to the release and spread of SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19. Related? Unrelated? Infiltrated? Given the degree of hardship suffered by people around the world, expressions of concern should come as no surprise. It’s entirely understandable. There have also been questions about domestic access to an internet off-switch, or even a forced digital dollar conversion.
Many are understandably worried about the risks of cyber incursion to the power grid, public utilities, medical services, transportation, and the mechanics of supply chain systems broadly. Is the World Economic Forum a friend or foe, and likewise the participants embedded within Cyber Polygon 2021?
Important questions must be asked. Protective steps should be taken. Conditions can change quickly.
Posted at the Cyber Polygon Website: “Cyber Polygon”
“Cyber Polygon is an annual online event which connects various global organisations to train their competencies, exchange best practices and bring tangible results to the world community.”
Posted at Rethinking the Dollar: “Prepping for a cyber pandemic: Cyber Polygon 2021 to stage supply chain attack simulation”
“…The SolarWinds hack served as a wake-up call to the supply chain attack vulnerabilities still present in public and private organizations, and it served as a warning that the next breach could be exponentially worse in spreading through any device connected to the internet.”
Posted at E&E News: “Report reveals play-by-play of first U.S. grid cyberattack” By Blake Sobczak
“A first-of-its-kind cyberattack on the U.S. grid created blind spots at a grid control center and several small power generation sites in the western United States, according to a document posted yesterday from the North American Electric Reliability Corp.”
Posted at The Gateway Pundit: “Is the World Economic Forum’s ‘Cyber Polygon 2020’ Predicting an Upcoming Internet Attack?” By Joe Hoft
“The Event 201 ‘exercise’ mirrored the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the World Economic Forum conducted a simulation of a global cyber pandemic related to the shutting down of the Internet on a mass scale… Should we now be prepared for a cybersecurity ‘pandemic’ that shuts down the Internet? Time will tell.”
On a related note, and especially in light of the ongoing cybersecurity issues, one of the many risks we frequently address at Professor Preponomics is computer and data security. This includes personal financial data, legal records, photographs and all of the creative work that so many of us have spent years producing and collecting. We believe that this is a good opportunity to remind everyone to do a couple of important tasks with regard to computer security.
1. Because it simply isn’t said enough, BACK UP YOUR DATA. Back it up to a removable drive. Or two. Relying on cloud storage may not be enough, especially with the risk of ongoing cyberattacks and ransomware attacks, not to mention the damage that can happen to your data because of power blackouts while your computer is on.
First, disable your internet connection before making a backup. This may protect the data on your removable drive from theft or other nefarious activity. Once you have safely removed the drive after the backup, you can turn your internet back on. The easiest way to back up your data, even though not nearly the most efficient, is to simply drag your Documents folder into the removable drive to copy it. Whatever you do, don’t forget to also copy the 74 documents you saved to your desktop. There are also programs that will sync your data with the folder on your backup drive, so use whatever is simplest for you. Do this TODAY.
2. Now is probably a good time to give serious consideration to an alternative operating system. The Professor is a huge fan of the Linux operating system. There are many flavors of Linux, but the easiest, on our opinion, is Linux Mint, because it is the easiest to learn and both Windows and Mac users can easily transition to Linux with little effort. It also just works.
Today may not be the day to undertake this project, because you are backing you your data. That is your priority. However, while you are backing up your data, we strongly suggest downloading a copy of Linux Mint to your computer, and saving it on your removable hard drive. HERE IS A LINK. For extra credit, burn the downloaded file (it’s called an .iso file) to a usb drive. This way you have the ability to boot your computer, whether it is Windows or a Mac, after a ransomware attack or other operating system failure. READ THIS ARTICLE to learn how to do this… it’s actually quite easy.
It can be intimidating to think about completely switching to a different operating system. Many people have never even heard of Linux, even though they use it every day. Wait, what? That’s right, when you go online, the significant majority of websites you visit are hosted on Linux. This is because they are much more reliable than Windows servers. In fact, as of this year, the top 500 supercomputers in the world use Linux. All of them. There is a reason for this. It just works.
3. The Professor has said this before, but something else you need to do today is start using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. NordVPN and Express VPN are two well-known companies, but ProtonVPN is also an exceptional service. Why do this? Because a VPN encrypts all of your data before it leaves your computer, thus protecting your data, your location, and your privacy.
“Oh, that’s too complicated, and I don’t know enough about computers to set that up.”
Be encouraged. You can do this! If you are reading this website, you already know vastly more than most people. Spend a couple of minutes to protect the years of work you have created. Go get a cup of coffee, sit down at your computer, and do it. You’re already at your computer, so all you need is the coffee. And a backup drive. Get started.
If you wish to discuss or comment on this post, or any other Professor Preponomics article or post, we invite you to visit the Professor Preponomics GAB Page. There, you can converse with other Professor Preponomics readers and comment freely (subject to GAB’s terms of service). The GAB link to discuss this article can be found here. We encourage thoughtful discourse as we are working to help everyone learn how to survive the dangerous and uncertain times ahead.