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Ransomware and malware, as well as cyberattacks, are a real threat to the systems of governments and local authorities, and the number of warnings regarding various attacks has increased in recent years. This is why the University of Waterloo have teamed up with Palitronica, a security company, and the Federal Government of Canada to develop a solution to enhance government IT infrastructure.

In an effort to guard against cyberattacks and security leaks, researchers at the University of Waterloo have created a technology that monitors increased energy consumption, which will help protect governments, businesses and other organizations.

Artificial intelligence (AI) software enables the technology to collect information with the assistance of hardware, so as to determine whether the use of electricity in the system conforms to known and expected patterns. When exceptional metrics are compiled, the artificial intelligence system sends an alert to the security officer in the organization, warning that the organization’s infrastructure could be under attack by hackers or software attempting to steal or lock precious data.

In addition, when multiple machines show signs of increased power usage at the same time and in similar patterns, the suspicion increases that there might be crypto-ransomware distributed on the network. As reported by uwaterloo.ca, several authorities in Ontario, Canada, are undergoing extensive testing of the new technology. It is designed to complement existing control systems (such as network intrusion detection) and, eventually, will provide greater security for power-based systems.