Cyber attacks now much more likely as Putin escalates ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine
03/03/2022 // JD Heyes // Views

The incidences of cyberattacks and cyber warfare have become all too real in the 21st century, and with a great power, Russia, currently at war with its neighbor, Ukraine, the likelihood of a major cyber event that would take out entire financial, governmental and transportation systems has been significantly elevated.

As noted by the Organic Prepper, our entire existence today, in modern societies, is interconnected by technology.

"Almost every aspect of our lives is driven by our connection with technology. It is inescapable," the site noted in a recent report. "All this progress, convenience, and connectivity don’t come without their pitfalls. The downside of all this technology is our dependency on it and how easily it can be manipulated and affected by external forces. Also, people have forgotten certain life skills, and the rise of instant gratification has left people with the inability to go without."

Worse, following Russia's invasion, the risk to this technology is greater now than it ever has been, given that offensive cyber capabilities are playing a larger role in modern military warfare today.

Chris Krebs, who headed up the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in an interview with Time this week that the threat of a massive Russian cyberattack on the U.S. and the West will grow increasingly likely the longer Vladimir Putin keeps troops in Ukraine, where he is also testing his country's cyberwarfare capabilities.

"...[W]e know that the Russian security services are very capable in the cyber arena. Ukraine has the unfortunate designation as being Russia’s test kitchen for some of their cyber tools—the Russians have taken down the Ukrainian electrical grid twice, both in 2015 and 2016. And then they launched the most destructive cyberattack in history, the NotPetya attack in June of 2017," he said, adding: "So we know that they’re not afraid to use their tools, generally speaking, but also specifically in coordination with a military assault and invasion."


Krebs went on to note that Russia also used cyber warfare tactics during its attack on Georgia in 2008, destroying government systems while also engaging in "their classic technique of spreading disinformation and false flag type operations."

The cybersecurity expert, who is now part of the security firm Krebs Stamos Group, also noted that the U.S. has had experiences with Russian hacking and cyberattacks.

"Business leaders need to be taking this situation seriously—beyond the fact that of course there’s a tragic war in Ukraine—because there could be spillover effects here in the U.S. and in the West," he said.

Asked what sectors Russia would most likely target, Krebs said:

Given the information we have available to us—and that tends to be history, so the sectors they’ve gone after in the past, as well as the incitement that we may see from sanctions—then I would say our experience with Russia in what we could anticipate would include banks, because we’ve sanctioned a number of their banks. They have gone after energy companies here in the past. And they’ve also gone after transportation and the aviation sector. So when we pull this all together, it’s critical lifeline vectors with engagement between government and industry.

"But every organization could be affected here," Krebs continued. "If part of the objective is not necessarily to be disruptive to the economy but instead disruptive to the psyche of the American people, then you could see schools and hospitals being targeted."

Clearly, U.S. lawmakers and officials are concerned. On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the co-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted, "I wish I could share more, but for now I can say it’s pretty obvious to many that something is off with #Putin He has always been a killer, but his problem now is different & significant It would be a mistake to assume this Putin would react the same way he would have 5 years ago."

Are we about to witness the first World Cyberwar?

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