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Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. a real threat?

Posted at 8:23 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 21:23:58-05

KILLEEN, TX — Tanks, bombs, and soldiers on the battlefield, that is what comes to mind when we think of war. But much of the fight now takes place in cyberspace.

As Russian attacks on Ukraine, the threat of cyberattacks become more imminent, even here in the U.S.

”Those cyber attackers try to get access through some particular person and try to steal or sometimes, compromise their accounts as well,” said Abhijit Nag, assistant professor of computer information systems at Texas A&M Central Texas.

Last year, Russia-linked hackers effectively shut down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S., leading to gas shortages across the East coast.

Critical infrastructure like fuel and the electrical grid is not the only systems vulnerable to foreign cyberattacks.

”Particularly those institutions where your medical data is stored. Definitely, your financial data and all that, needs to be protected as much as possible,” said Nag.

The threat of Russian cyberattacks is real, leading President Biden to issue a warning to President Putin on Thursday.

”Let me also repeat a warning I gave last week. If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond,” said President Joe Biden, Giving remarks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Thursday.

Biden also assured that his administration is preparing in case attacks to come.

”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,” said Biden.

Hackers gained access to Colonial Pipeline’s system through a single leaked password.

Meaning, anyone could be subject to cyberattacks and should adhere to safety protocols.

”That actually prevents us from sharing information that anybody can listen to.” said Nag.

A direct cyberattack from Russia has not happened but remains a possibility.