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U.S. prepares for possible cyberattacks by Russia as conflict in Ukraine escalates

The U.S. government is warning banks to be on high alert.
Cyberattack 121619
Posted at 8:07 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 15:47:51-05

The U.S. imposed new sanctions on Russia on Wednesday. Now, there are fears Russia may retaliate with cyberattacks.

The American government is on high alert for possible ransomware attacks.

This week, an FBI cyber official warned businesses and local governments they should be on the lookout for such attacks.

U.S. agencies also issued a similar warning to banks, according to CNN.

The warning comes as President Joe Biden announced a round of sanctions on Russia on Tuesday, including sanctions on Russian banks.

There are other assets that belong to the U.S. that could also be in jeopardy of an attack.

Ukraine depends on American commercial satellites to get spy imagery.

Experts fear Russia may target those satellites.

Ukraine’s internet access already began to suffer this week before Russia officially invaded the country.

On Thursday, websites belonging to Ukraine’s defense, foreign and interior ministries were slow to load and sometimes unreachable.

Experts describe this as a series of distributed-denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks, which are malicious attempts to disrupt the traffic of a target server or network.

The attacker will overwhelm the server or network with a flood of internet traffic, according to Cloudflare.

Ukrainian government contractors working in Latvia and Lithuania were also affected by malware attacks, Symantec Threat Intelligence confirmed.

Cybersecurity experts believe Russia has been planning these cyberattacks for months.

Russia has also previously attacked U.S. infrastructure.

One attack happened as recently as 2020, when Russian hackers infiltrated several government agencies after they compromised software from SolarWinds, an IT management software company based in Texas.

The breach affected systems used by the U.S. Treasury Department, as well as the Energy and Commerce departments, and other government agencies.