NTT Monthly Threat Report, December 2021

December 15, 2021

It seems, year after year, attacks increase in impact and visibility and 2021 did not deviate from past patterns. Instead of looking at the increase in numbers of incidents, breaches, and vulnerabilities, I’d like to take a look at some of the trends that have caught the attention of the security and business worlds.

Cyberattacks directly impacting the physical world

If there was one breach everyone remembers from 2021, it’s the Colonial Pipeline breach. It was such big news that I was fielding questions from friends and family who have absolutely no involvement in cybersecurity. The breach was top of everyone’s minds because it had a direct physical impact on peoples’ lives. When Colonial discovered ransomware had infected their billing systems, they quickly shut down the pipeline. They did so to prevent the spread of malware into the OT (operational technology, or the physical systems responsible for their operations) side of their business, and because they couldn’t bill for any of the fuel they would be delivering to customers.

Typically, a breach of this size results in mass emails telling people to change their passwords and monitor their credit reports. This time, the breach directly resulted in gas shortages and fistfights at the gas pumps. While Colonial received quite a bit of public outcry for the pipeline being down, it was a smart move on their part to have a controlled shut down instead of allowing attackers to lock it down using ransomware. This attack represented the most significant cyberattack against critical infrastructure in the United States to date. It served as a wake-up call to the general population and the federal government, increasing awareness and concern over the safety of the nation’s key assets.

Price: FREE

About the Provider

NTT Ltd.
NTT Limited is a global technology and services provider headquartered in London, United Kingdom, operating under the brand name NTT. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese telecommunications company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation and serves as the headquarters for its global operations.


Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Global Threat Report, ransomware