Imagine a cybersecurity catastrophe like this one: A pharmaceuticals maker suffers a data breach, but no data is stolen and no ransomware is deployed. Instead the attacker simply makes a change to some of the data in a clinical trial -- ultimately leading the company to release the wrong drug.
It’s a hypothetical scenario, for now. Ransomware and the theft of sensitive data remain massive top-of-mind security concerns, of course, but at least there are tools and procedures available to mitigate those issues.
Data-tampering represents a different type of threat, and one that could be potentially even more serious for certain organizations, depending on the situation. And yet it’s not on the radar for many businesses, experts told Protocol, due to the fact that few such attacks have occurred and come to light.
But this type of attack is not totally unprecedented. In early 2021, for instance, a hacker who broke into a Florida water treatment plant was able to elevate the sodium hydroxide, or lye, in the water to an unsafe level.