US Agencies Release Warning of Threats From Russia

US Agencies Release Warning of Threats From Russia

( – The United States and Russia wrapped up negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, January 10, without any major breakthroughs over how to de-escalate the mounting tension as Russia’s military gathers on its border with Ukraine. A day after these talks ended, though, multiple federal agencies gave their own warning about threats from Russia, this time centering around cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Advisory on Threats to US Infrastructure

On Tuesday, January 11, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI, and the National Security Agency (NSA) jointly released a joint cybersecurity advisory (CSA). It warned American citizens of Russian cyber operations that could attack critical US infrastructure in the coming months.

The agencies urged “the cybersecurity community,” which includes everyone from US businesses and organizations to the federal government and military, to “adopt a heightened state of awareness” and “conduct proactive threat hunting.” Only by being proactive against Russian threats and closing potential security gaps can the US and its businesses stay ahead of these potential hacks.

What Has Russia Done So Far?

Over the past decade, Russian actors have had multiple successful cyberattacks around the world. For several years beginning in 2011, Russian hackers allegedly used malware to infiltrate international energy networks, including in the US, to gather industrial data. These leaks eventually lead to some power outages, most notably in Ukraine in December 2015.

Similarly, reports say Russian actors targeted a variety of aviation and government networks in the fall and winter of 2020 where they exploited multiple victims. As Russia continues to stretch its cyberhacking abilities, it’s likely to target vulnerable US businesses and government agencies as tensions between the two nations rise.

Mitigating Cyber Threats in the Future

While this warning is a key aspect of staying ahead of these threats, businesses and agencies must act upon the recommendations. Within the CISA, the agencies tell companies to not only create a cyber incident response plan but actually exercise it in case the day should come where an attack hits their networks. The CISA also asks the cybersecurity community to keep up on best practices for access management, which both cybersecurity professionals and CISA have laid out.

Lastly, CISA asks businesses to stay current with news surrounding these threats by signing up for its mailing list. The faster businesses can respond to potential threats, the safer everyone will be.

All in all, raising America’s cybersecurity readiness is something every citizen can benefit from. By keeping Russian bad actors at bay, citizens limit supply chain distributions, power outages, network crashes, and identity hacks. Will those threats be enough to motivate people to up their internet vigilance?

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