By: Christian Sarna
In this National Recap, we are stepping away from campaigns and impeachment and looking into cyberattacks and climate change.
Ransomware has impacted 621 entities so far this year
Cyberattacks in which hackers take control of computer systems or websites and demand payment to release them are now being called “ransomware” attacks. Targets of these attacks have included hospitals, schools, cities and healthcare centers across the country. Some incidents have closed schools and delayed surgeries. The total cost of these attacks is estimated to be around $186 million.
Ransomware brings chaos to workers and customers of targeted organizations. When Baltimore was under attack, the city delayed sending out water bills. Other issues reported include disruptions in collecting taxes, paying bills and making sales. Ransomware attacks have been on the rise in recent years partially due to how profitable they can be. Experts think that smaller cities are more attractive targets because they have less resources and are more likely to pay the ransom.
Cyber attacks have been on the rise and according to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, there is no reason they will decline soon. Emsisoft conducted a study on ransomware attacks and found that attackers are demanding higher ransoms now than in 2018.
Hottest September ever recorded
Last month was the hottest September on record following the hottest June, July and second hottest August.
Copernicus Climate Change Service, an organization that tracks global temperature, reported that last month was 1.02 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average September from 1981-2010. This July was the hottest single month since records have been kept starting 140 years ago. Some locations in southwest Russia, Sweden and Norway experienced lower than average temperatures. However, most of Europe, parts of the U.S and large portions of the rest of the globe had higher temperatures.
Scientists are warning that human activity is heating Earth at a dangerous rate. High temperature are the most lethal threat to humans than any other extreme weather. The U.N. says the international goal is to limit temperature growth in the next century to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to CBS News climate and weather contributor Jeff Berardelli, that goal will probably be surpassed by 2030.
“In a business as usual scenario warming may very well surpass 3 degrees Celsius which will have devastating impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems,” Berardelli said.