FBI Director Christopher Wray compared recent ransomware attacks on large companies to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in an interview on Friday.
These attacks are classed as "ransomware" attacks, in which a virus introduced by hackers forcibly closes down a network, and then the hackers demand money to remove the virus and restore the systems.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the interview is among the few public appearances of Wray who told the publication: "There are a lot of parallels, there’s a lot of importance, and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention."
"There's a shared responsibility, not just across government agencies but across the private sector and even the average American," he said to WSJ.
Recently, large meat supplier JBS, a Brazilian company with operations in the United States, was the victim of a large-scale cyberattack, which wound up halting 20 percent of the meat processing within the United States.
Before that, the Colonial Pipeline was shut down in a similar manner by hackers, causing spikes in gas prices at the pumps over large parts of northeastern America.
The company paid almost $5 million in anonymous and untraceable cryptocurrency to hackers somewhere in Eastern Europe or Russia in order to regain control of the pipeline. Many people postulate that these groups of hackers are operating with impunity from Russia.