Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

‘Preparation, not panic’: Top US cyber official asks Americans to look out for Russian hacking efforts

“All businesses, all critical infrastructure owners and operators need to assume that disruptive cyber activity is something that the Russians are thinking about, that are preparing for, that are exploring options, as the President said,” Jen Easterly, director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown.

“That’s why we are so focused on making sure that everybody understands the potential for this disruptive cyber activity,” Easterly said. “And it’s not about panic. It’s about preparation.”

Easterly pointed to the example of a cybercriminal attack on Colonial Pipeline last year, which shut down delivery of fuel to the East Coast for days and led to Americans hoarding gasoline.

The Biden administration has for months warned that Moscow could respond to US sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with cyberattacks on US infrastructure — or that ransomware gangs like the one that hit Colonial Pipeline could lash out.

“The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” President Joe Biden told business leaders March 21.

Easterly called Biden’s statement, which said Russia was conducting “preparatory activity” for a potential cyberattack, “pretty unprecedented.”

“I think what makes the moment different is just seeing what the Russians have done with this unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and then understanding there can be some very real consequences of that in cyberspace,” Easterly told CNN.

Easterly’s agency, established in 2018, is charged with advising the owners and operators of power plants, manufacturing facilities and other critical infrastructure on how to defend against such threats.

Agencies like CISA and the departments of Treasury and Energy have in recent months held cyberthreat briefings on Russian hacking capabilities for America’s biggest banks and electric utilities.

Many of those critical infrastructure operators have spent years investing in network defense and studying high-profile Russian cyberattacks like one that cut power in Ukraine for a quarter million people.

A month into the war in Ukraine, the Russian military has stumbled and still failed to take the capital of Kyiv.

“I would imagine that there is a lot of pressure, a lot of stress on not just the Russian military but against the Russian intelligence officers,” said Easterly, a former US Army intelligence officer.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

United States

In a 62-to-37 vote, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, landmark legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages....

United States

new video loaded: Watch Live: Biden Addresses U.N. General Assembly Recent episodes in Live Journalism TimesTalks ​ — live and video conversations between New...

Politics

On Friday, Willow’s crate was spotted being carried by a staff member from the White House residence to Marine One, the presidential helicopter that...

Politics

“As a teacher, I’ve imagined that scene in my own classroom, again and again,” said Biden during remarks at the National Parent Teachers Association’s...

Politics

Navarro is charged with contempt of Congress after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents in the House select committee’s investigation. While...

Politics

The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed until next week, would feature former top Trump administration legal officials who stood...

Politics

Paladino, then a Buffalo school board member, was defending himself against allegations that previous comments he made were racist and said he cared about...

Politics

But there was a striking change from pre-2020 briefings: It touched on violent threats to election officials that stem from conspiracy theories about the...