Not long ago, the concept of killware was the stuff of futuristic, doomsday movie fare. The idea that hackers could breach systems related to basic public infrastructure and municipal services to put people’s very lives at risk seemed scary, but far-fetched. Unfortunately, that dystopian future has, at least to some degree, arrived. Cities across the globe are increasingly faced with alarming, urgent killware attacks.
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 90th annual Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, John Easterly, head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), urged mayors heading up cities across the country to take the lead on protecting against killware. “It has to be a leadership issue,” he said. “We are now seeing cyberattacks which can have physical impacts, with the potential to lead to loss of life.”