DHS Sounds Alarm on Potential for Major Russian Cyberattacks on US

Latest bulletin out of DHS advises state and local governments, critical infrastructure operators to be on alert.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

January 24, 2022

1 Min Read

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly has warned state and local governments and critical infrastructure operators about the risk of Russia hitting the US with cyberattacks in retaliation for a possible US or NATO response to a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report by CNN, which reported on the Jan. 23 DHS intelligence bulletin, the federal agency said Russia could employ anything from denial-of-service attacks to more destructive ones aimed at disrupting critical infrastructure. 

The warning comes on the heels of a series of alerts by DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), including one with the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA), to ratchet up their security controls in case of attacks by Russia's nation-state hacking groups. CISA said in a Jan. 18 advisory that US organizations of all sizes should "take urgent, near-term steps to reduce the likelihood and impact of a potentially damaging compromise." That warning came a week after CISA joined forces with the FBI and NSA in a Jan. 11 advisory detailing how to detect, respond to, and mitigate cyberattacks from Russian hacking groups.

The latest warning of possible Russian state cyberattacks comes as President Biden has now ordered some 8,500 US troops on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe as Russian forces continue to position at Russia's border with Ukraine.

But DHS's latest bulletin noted that it would be a "very high" threshold for Russia to ultimately wage major attacks on the US. The agency wrote that it has "not observed Moscow directly employ these types of cyber attacks against US critical infrastructure — notwithstanding cyber espionage and potential prepositioning operations in the past."

The full article can be found on CNN. 

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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