By ABC News 7
The CEO of the Knowledge and Intelligence Program Professionals, Hal Kempfer, said “the reality, is the Russian state kind of uses these gangs or criminal enterprises as sort of a cutout, if you will, to do things,” and added that the goal was to “impede U.S. commerce, or critical infrastructure, or financial infrastructure, to cause as much pain and disruption as possible in any way that would slow us down from what we’re doing over with Europe and NATO.”
Analysts said it all showed that the Russian government has the capability for a more sophisticated assault on critical infrastructure in Ukraine and around the world, but said that was highly unlikely to happen in the U.S. or against NATO allies because there would be consequences.
Thursday morning, President Biden made that clear.
“If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond,” Biden said. “For months, we’ve been working closely with the private sector to harden our cyber defenses, sharpen our ability to respond to Russian cyberattacks as well.”
In case digital assaults spill over, cyber security experts said you can prepare by increasing your cyber defense. They recommend you change your passwords, and make them difficult to crack by using two-factor authentication, buying a VPN service to mask your IP address, and updating software when notified.
“It may be very difficult to get to 100 percent defense, but you just want to make it as hard as possible for cyber actors to get into your systems so they shift their focus to someone or something else,” Ali said. “I think that these are all basic things that we can do as everyday Americans to keep us all safe.”