The United States has a ‘responsibility to be prepared’ for potential cyberattacks, the Homeland Security Secretary said on Tuesday, as the world braces for the fallout from conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia, which in the past is believed to have launched attacks on U.S. pipelines, finance, and communications infrastructure, is known to be ever ready to seize the moment and strike.
Cybersecurity expert Ian Marlow said that U.S. banks, power plants, water treatment facilities, and communications could be targeted in retaliation for any U.S. response to action around Ukraine, as well as satellites used for GPS navigation, farming, automation, and oil exploration.
Vladimir Putin is thought likely to try and launch a cyberattack at the same time as his military offensive
The United States is on alert for a cyberattack, launched by Russia in response to events in Ukraine
IBM Security instructors at the company’s security business headquarters in Massachusetts simulate cyber attacks in the world’s first commercial cyber range
Asked where the Russians would want to strike, Marlow told Fox 5: ‘Our food supply, things that have to do with our power supply, utilities. Utilities have been brought down and then you don’t have service.’
Marlow, the CEO of FitechGelb, a financial technology company, added: ‘There are many things that companies are able to do in order to circumvent these issues, which are, quite honestly, not that difficult to put in.
‘They’re readily available to small, medium, and large size companies. You just have to be proactive.’
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security chief, echoed Marlow’s warning and told people to remain vigilant.
He stressed that there was no credible threat at the moment, but people should remain vigilant.
‘We have no information to suggest a specific credible cyber threat against the U.S. homeland, but it is our responsibility to be prepared,’ he tweeted.
Gas stations from Florida to Virginia closed their pumps and a state of emergency was declared by the governor of North Carolina after Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut off the nation’s big fuel pipeline in May 2021
An aerial view of the Colonial Pipeline tanks. The vital artery was attacked in May 2021
Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Plant in the middle of the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania. Critical infrastructure is being closely monitored for attack
Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, said on Tuesday that her state was already aiming to get ahead of the cybercriminals.
‘As cybersecurity risks become heightened, New York needs the best possible protection,’ she said.
‘That’s why today we’re announcing the first-in-the-nation, statewide Joint Security Operations Center, serving as the nerve center for joint local, state & federal cyber efforts.’
The JSOC was already planned before the Russia-Ukraine conflict began to escalate, but Hochul said it would be crucial in the weeks ahead.
The center will provide a statewide view of potential cybersecurity threats and how they can either be addressed or prevented altogether.
Hochul said her administration has been in contact with the White House in recent weeks, while the Biden administration warned of a potential invasion of Ukraine from Russia, and that her office was told to prepare for new digital vulnerabilities.
‘The White House thought it was important enough to let governors know to be prepared,’ Hochul said.
‘We’re on notice of what they could do to dismantle our systems.’
Hochul said the state was on high alert.
‘Sometimes for every action, there’s a reaction,’ Hochul said.
‘Shame on us if we’re not anticipating and watching what’s happening across the globe, and the possible impact in any city.’