AI can combat colonial pipeline-style cyberattacks that cripple hospitals and essential services: Expert

Artificial intelligence could have significantly narrowed the haystack to find the needle after hackers crippled the Colonial Pipeline with a ransomware attack and minimized the catastrophic consequences, an expert said.

The 2021 shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline was the result of the largest-ever cyberattack on critical infrastructure in the United States, which is an easy target due to outdated protection systems, said Alice Globus, chief financial officer of Nanotronics, which bills itself as an “industrial AI company.” “

“Most critical infrastructure, whether it’s manufacturing some of these other systems like hospitals, they’re using older technology that doesn’t get updated as often,” Globus told Fox News Digital. “They are low-hanging fruit for cyberattacks.”

Big pipelines aren’t the only goal, Globus said; From dams and satellites to schools and hospitals, everything that has made headlines in recent weeks is included.

Disturbing new crime trend: Children’s private data stolen from schools and leaked onto the dark web

AI system hacked

The American flag flies with Capitol Hill in the background. (iStock)

The FBI continues to investigate a ransomware attack that crippled a major hospital network in four states earlier this month.

Prospect Medical Holdings, which operates 16 hospitals in California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island (as well as 166 outpatient clinics and centers), was attacked earlier this month.

US Marshals Service attacked by ransomware targeting sensitive law enforcement information

All elective surgeries have been canceled and facilities for wound healing, imaging, gastroenterology, podiatry, emergency care and women’s health have been closed, according to an update from the Eastern Connecticut Health Network from the first week of August.

Emergency rooms at Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals have been closed, The Associated Press reported.


Exxon station

Motorists line up at an Exxon gas station on May 12, 2021, shortly after fuel supplies were replenished in Charlotte, North Carolina after hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline. (Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)

“This is an area where artificial intelligence can help,” Globus said. “The systems are already compromised, but the AI ​​can see what a normal system looks like and how the hospital should function.”

Humans can’t, so virtually everything is preemptively shut down to stop the malware from spreading, Globus said, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, “if not billions.”


“If (a critical infrastructure system) is malfunctioning or failing, powerful AI can identify the areas where there are potential problems and alert a human to review those areas as they’re under attack,” she said.

“It greatly minimizes the damage and allows the systems to repel the attack.”


WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF AI? Find out why people are afraid of artificial intelligence

The number of reported ransomware attacks has grown exponentially since the pandemic. According to the US Treasury Department, US financial institutions processed approximately $1.2 billion in ransomware-related payments in 2021, a 200% increase since 2020.

And that is exactly what was reported, Globus emphasized.


The lucrative prospect of crime has led to “cybergangs” and attacks are commonplace.

“I think it’s only going to get worse,” Globus said. “But we currently have artificial intelligence methods in place to address this issue and minimize damage and risk, whether it’s a large pipeline or a local hospital.”

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button