The confrontation between the United States and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine has so far mostly played out on the diplomatic and economic fronts. However, now the US government is on high alert due to the possibility of the conflict spreading into cyberspace.
According to CNN, a senior FBI cybersecurity official urged American businesses and local authorities to be vigilant against potential ransomware attacks.
Some of the largest cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure over the past two years have been linked to suspected Russian hackers. The list includes the hacking of the SolarWinds supply chain in 2020, the ransomware attack on the American fuel giant Colonial Pipeline and one attack on one of the world’s largest meat producers JBS.
Ukraine has already faced numerous cyber attacks since the beginning of the conflict with Russia. Analysts say that even targeted cyberattacks on Ukraine could potentially have consequences outside the country. Companies around the world that work with organizations in Ukraine should be especially careful, “since connections to Ukrainian systems can be used as a starting point for other purposes.”
In recent months, the Biden administration has focused on strengthening U.S. cyber defenses to protect against attacks from abroad, including government agencies and large businesses.