A consensus is developing in Washington that Russia could soon launch a lethal cyber attack against the United States to divert its attention from the Ukraine issue.
America warned of a massive cyber attack
American security agencies have already warned the government and private entities to be aware of an upcoming cyberattack from Russia, encouraging everyone to take proactive security measures.
The latest warning of cyberattacks against America started getting steam with an attack against New Bedford Police.
New Bedford Police were hit with a ransomware attack early Thursday morning that impacted a number of department servers and computers, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
— WBSM (@WBSM1420) January 28, 2022
An official of the Department of Energy (DoE) Electricity Advisory Committee, Robert Lee, stated American infrastructure is currently facing a digital transformation.
Therefore, attacking the US infrastructure today is easier than ever.
At a time when cyberattacks are getting bolder, Lee suggested he is not worried about an attack on an electricity grid or poisoning the water system of a town because there is always a backup present for these facilities.
However, he asserted instead of the actual attacks, he is afraid of the overreaction of authorities and fear that persists among the people regarding these attacks.
A DHS memo released Sunday warned that Russia could launch a cyberattack against U.S. targets on American soil if it believes Washington’s response to its potential invasion of Ukraine threatens its long-term national security.https://t.co/vz8S4l8E4c
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 24, 2022
Amid these cyber crises, the Biden administration announced a 100-day plan on Thursday to increase protections in the American water industry.
After a ransom attack on Colonial Pipeline by Russian-based hackers last year, the Biden administration took similar measures.
They tried to protect the US energy industry, specifically focusing on natural gas pipelines and the electric sector.
Although Lee appreciated the idea of securing waterways against cyber threats, he established doing so is a tedious job, as the water systems of America are extremely complex.
According to him, there are almost 55,000 water systems across America; securing every single one of them is hard, given that these infrastructures are under-resourced.
Securing American infrastructure is a tedious job
Explaining the difficulty of defending American systems against cyber attacks, Lee claimed almost 95 percent of resources in the private sector are designed to react preventively.
Only five percent of them can be used proactively, which makes the situation complex.
Lee, who has served in the US Air Force as a cyber warfare operations officer, said industries have to develop capabilities to react proactively in case of any attack.
Local facilities are more vulnerable to these sorts of threats as larger companies are better equipped with resources to prevent the attack, the cybersecurity officer maintained.
While explaining a major roadblock in the way of local level cyber security, Lee stated governments could not convince the average American by raising their water bills to prevent attacks from Russia and China.
Although the officer opined that most of these attacks are done by ransom groups, some of them are backed by foreign actors as well.
These foreign actors strive to steal intellectual property to disrupt the geopolitical balance.
For Lee, the only solution to this crisis is to create public awareness, which is the responsibility of the Public Utility Commission of every state.