Russia May Ramp Up Cyber Attacks As Putin Pushes Into Donbas, U.S. Warns

While the world has been centered on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the injury and human struggling it has brought about, officers from a number of Western governments are involved about attainable Russian cyberattacks.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that organizations may see “increased malicious cyber activity” both from state-sponsored actors in Russia or cybercrime teams aligned with Russia.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could impact organizations both within and beyond the region, to include malicious cyber activity against the U.S. homeland, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs imposed on Russia by the U.S. and our allies and partners,” the CISA mentioned on its web site.

The warning, which was issued collectively with cybersecurity authorities from the U.Ok., Australia, Canada and New Zealand, cited “evolving intelligence” that indicated Russia’s authorities could possibly be weighing choices for potential cyberattacks.

“We know that malicious cyber activity is part of the Russian playbook. We also know that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure,” CISA Director Jen Easterly mentioned in an announcement.

The warning additionally famous that some cybercrime teams have just lately publicly voiced assist for Russia, and that these teams have threatened to conduct retaliatory cyber operations “for perceived cyber offensives” towards Russia or its folks and towards nations and organizations which have assisted Ukraine with materiel assist.

The warning comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated a brand new part of the Russia-Ukraine struggle by pushing into Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area this week.

“Recent Russian state-sponsored cyber operations have included distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and older operations have included deployment of destructive malware against Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure organizations,” the CISA mentioned.

In addition to the cybercrime teams which have just lately pledged their assist for Russia, the CISA mentioned different cybercrime teams have just lately performed “disruptive attacks” towards Ukrainian web sites, “likely in support of the Russian military offensive.”

The CISA urged “critical infrastructure network defenders” to make preparations to restrict any potential cyber threats “by hardening their cyber defenses and performing due diligence in identifying indicators of malicious activity.”

Russia Cyberattacks Warning
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned Wednesday that organizations may see “increased malicious cyber activity” both from state-sponsored actors in Russia or cybercrime teams which can be aligned with Russia. Above, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visits the Vostochny cosmodrome, some 180 km north of Blagoveschensk, Amur area, on April 12, 2022.
Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP by way of Getty Images

The CISA outlined a number of measures that organizations ought to take instantly so as to put together for and mitigate these threats, together with updating their software program, implementing multifactor authentication (MFA), securing and monitoring Remote Desktop Protocol “and other potentially risky services” and offering end-user consciousness and coaching.

In addition to these 4 rapid steps, the CISA advisory advisable separating segments of networks primarily based on position and performance as a part of a longer-term effort to make use of “network segmentation.”

Network segmentation, based on the nonprofit commerce affiliation CompTIA, “is when different parts of a computer network, or network zones, are separated by devices such as bridges, switches and routers.”

“Network segmentation can help prevent the spread of ransomware and threat actor lateral movement by controlling traffic flows between—and access to—various subnetworks,” the CISA advisory mentioned.

The CISA additionally advisable that organizations have a cyber incident response and operations continuity plan in place.

Newsweek reached out to Russia’s Foreign Ministry for remark.

Update 4/20/22, 4:35 p.m. ET: This story was up to date with an announcement from CISA Director Jen Easterly.

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