Holiday weekends, like the current Labor Day weekend, are great ways for many of us to get a mental health break away from the normal ebb and flow of the work week.
But the problem is that they’ve also become really attractive for gangs of cybercriminals looking to get an edge on unsuspecting companies.
And for that reason, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, put out a warning last week informing companies that three day weekends were likely to create the perfect opening for ransomware attacks, and making it so that at least someone on the IT team might need to be looking at the infrastructure when most of their coworkers are usually out.
As CISA notes in their comment, it’s not exactly a huge surprise that they have to put a note out like this, as at least three significant attacks have taken place in and around major holidays this year alone. From their warning
Cyber actors have conducted increasingly impactful attacks against U.S. entities on or around holiday weekends over the last several months. The FBI and CISA do not currently have specific information regarding cyber threats coinciding with upcoming holidays and weekends. Cyber criminals, however, may view holidays and weekends—especially holiday weekends—as attractive timeframes in which to target potential victims, including small and large businesses. In some cases, this tactic provides a head start for malicious actors conducting network exploitation and follow-on propagation of ransomware, as network defenders and IT support of victim organizations are at limited capacity for an extended time.
So here we are in the middle of a rough time, during a damn pandemic, when people just want to get some time away to do things with their kids or to improve their mental health, and ransomware attackers are basically like, naaaah.