Scenes of gas-panicked commuters in southern states – where large numbers of filling stations ran empty, massive lines formed at the few with fuel, and anxious drivers had to be reminded not to fill plastic bags with gasoline – masked an even more disturbing development: Ransomware attacks like the one precipitating the crisis are almost impossible to deter or defend against.
Hackers have hit computer systems for public schools, law enforcement agencies, hospital networks, and major infrastructure installations in recent years, as the digital age has also spawned a prolific new form of information warfare.
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