“If it turns out that Russia is pummeling Ukraine with cyberattacks,” he stated, “and if that continues over the period ahead, we will work with our allies on the appropriate response.”
Understand the Escalating Tensions Over Ukraine
Mr. Sullivan stated that the United States had been working with Ukraine to harden its methods and American networks if the string of ransomware and different assaults from Russia accelerates within the United States.
For President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Ukraine has typically been a testing vary for cyberweapons.
An assault on Ukraine’s Central Election Commission throughout a presidential election in 2014, wherein Russia sought unsuccessfully to alter the consequence, proved to be a mannequin for the Russian intelligence companies; the United States later discovered that that they had infiltrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee within the United States. In 2015, the primary of two main assaults on Ukraine’s electrical grid shut off the lights for hours in several components of the nation, together with in Kyiv, the capital.
And in 2017, companies and authorities companies in Ukraine have been hit with damaging software program known as NotPetya, which exploited holes in a kind of tax preparation software program that was broadly used within the nation. The assault shut down swaths of the economic system and hit FedEx and the transport firm Maersk as effectively; American intelligence officers later traced it to Russian actors. That software program, a minimum of in its total design, bears some resemblance to what Microsoft warned of on Saturday.
The new assault would wipe exhausting drives clear and destroy information. Some protection consultants have stated such an assault may very well be a prelude to a floor invasion by Russia. Others assume it may substitute for an invasion, if the attackers believed a cyberstrike wouldn’t immediate the sort of monetary and technological sanctions that Mr. Biden has vowed to impose in response.
John Hultquist, a number one cyberintelligence analyst at Mandiant, stated on Sunday that hs agency had been telling its shoppers “to prepare for destructive attacks, including attacks that are designed to resemble ransomware.”
He famous that the Russian hacking unit often called Sandworm, which has since been intently linked to the Russian navy intelligence company, the G.R.U., had spent current years growing “more sophisticated means of critical infrastructure attack,” together with in Ukraine’s energy grid.