FBI ‘concerned’ over Russia’s cyber-attack on critical US infrastructure: Way

FBI Director Christopher Way said on Tuesday that the FBI was “concerned” about Russia’s possible cyber-attacks on key US infrastructure in the wake of Russia’s war with Ukraine.

“The reason we are concerned about this is not only because of our long-standing understanding of how Russians work, but also because of the specific investigative work and surveillance work we’ve been doing together,” Way told an audience. Detroit Economic Forum. “Most cyber attacks don’t happen instantly. There’s activity that leads to it. There’s scanning and researching, researching a victim, scanning for vulnerabilities and systems. There’s a development of access to those systems. So, a whole range of ownership.” There is work to be done. “

This comes at a time when the FBI has seen five U.S. power agencies scan their systems, according to a source familiar with the situation, outlined in an agency bulletin first reported by CBS News. ABC News has confirmed the content of the bulletin.

“Today, with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we are focusing specifically on the destructive cyber threat posed by the Russian Intel services, and they protect and support cybercriminal groups,” Ray said in a prepared comment. “Our cybercriminals are working closely with our other allies in Ukraine and abroad, and with the private sector and our partners here.”

On Monday, President Joe Biden called on American businessmen to strengthen their cyber defense, saying the threat of cyber-attacks in the United States has now increased as Russian President Vladimir Putin has his “back against the wall.”

“I have previously warned that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activities against the United States, in which we have imposed unprecedented economic costs on Russia, as well as our allies and partners,” Biden said in a statement. “This is part of the Russian playbook. Today, my administration, based on its developed intelligence, is repeating the warnings that the Russian government is exploring possible cyber-attack options.”

Anne Newberger, deputy national security adviser on cyber and emerging technologies, echoed her remarks at a White House press briefing on Monday. He did not elaborate on what officials were saying, but told reporters that the government had stepped up preparations for a cyber attack.

“Last week, the federal agency called on more than 100 companies to share information on new cyber security threats, in light of this growing threat intelligence. During those meetings, we shared resources and tools to help companies tighten their security, such as from sensitive threats. Intelligence information received as well as support from the local FBI field office and sister regional office, including their shield-up program, ā€¯Newberger said.

Newberger said there was no evidence of specific cyber-attacks, but “some precautionary measures” that prompted the White House to provide classified briefings to companies in sectors it deems to be affected – details of which sectors were included despite pressure to be more specific. Several times during the briefing with no.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas and Jane Easterley, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, both said the DHS had the resources to fight cyber-attacks for private business and called on agencies to protect themselves.

“Companies of every size and across every sector should increase their cyber security defenses,” Mayorcas said.

Last week, Mayorkas was asked about the threat of a ransomware attack as the conflict in Ukraine continues.

He said the number of ransomware attacks increased by 300% from 2020 to 2021 – the damage to ransomware totally close to $ 300 million. He called on companies to ensure their cyber defenses, especially when the conflict continues.

“Some of these measures are very simple and readily available. Changing one’s password to strong multi-factor authentication, backing up a system, are the first steps one can take,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“We have come a long way in communicating with the private sector, who own the vast majority of critical infrastructure, to equip them to make a threat a reality, to respond quickly and effectively to an attack and to prove resilient at the same time as Russian aggression and real potential.” Russia could seek revenge through cyber channels. “

As a result of the major cyber-attacks in 2021, Biden has tightened cyber-attack reporting rules for certain parts of critical infrastructure, such as pipelines and airlines.

Industry and experts are taking this warning of the White House seriously.

Although Russia has not yet launched a more aggressive or destructive cyber-attack that has erased critical infrastructure or sensitive data in Ukraine or elsewhere, recent comments from the administration indicate that Russian cyber operators are conducting digital reconnaissance at United’s e-commerce system. This could lead to such an operation, “Javed Ali, a former senior counter-director at the National Security Council, told ABC News. “These public statements indicating a Russian cyber threat and other military developments from various intelligence sources and methods seem to be part of the Biden administration’s overall strategy to put pressure on Putin and show that the United States and its partners have advance notice of Russia.” Purpose. “

The Tennessee Valley Authority is monitoring the threat from complex infrastructure companies, including power supply companies for 153 local power companies in Tennessee and surrounding states.

A spokesman for the company told ABC News: “TVA constantly monitors for ever-changing cyber security threats.” “We use a multi-layer security strategy, including a combination of hardware, software and systematic control, to secure our critical generation, transmission and business infrastructure systems. Quickly implement new defenses for targeted cybersecurity issues. “

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