On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden stated that intelligence indicated a growing Russian cyber threat to the United States.
He claimed that Russia was “exploring” a cyber strike but that the US would use “every weapon” to prevent and retaliate.
Mr. Biden suggested that Moscow would retaliate for sanctions imposed on it following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to Russia’s foreign ministry, bilateral ties between Moscow and the United States are “on the edge of collapse.”
Mr. Biden has previously warned of a possible Russian cyberattack, stating on February 24 that the US was ready to retaliate. He suggested that the potential for “malicious cyber activities” could be motivated by the “extraordinary economic burdens” imposed by Western sanctions.
Since tensions between Russia and Ukraine began to rise, the cyber security industry has been bracing for a large-scale cyber-attack from Russia.
Cyber authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere have issued warnings about not only assaults on Ukraine but also so-called “spillover” attacks, in which other nations are targeted or a hacker mistakenly travels outside of the conflict zone.
The NotPetya wiper attack, which the US and EU have openly blamed on Russian military hackers, is the example authorities keep using.
In 2017, malicious malware spread uncontrollably, disrupting thousands of organisations around the world and causing an estimated $10 billion (£7.6 billion) in losses.
Although President Biden did not state it officially, the concern appears to be about an attack on a crucial piece of US infrastructure.
Last year, we witnessed the chaos and anguish created on the east coast when criminal hackers shut down an oil pipeline.
In the worst-case scenario, a catastrophic cyber-attack on the US or another NATO member might activate Article 5, the collective defence clause.
On the one hand, President Biden’s warning is unsurprising and simply a continuation of his government’s “shields up” programme, which began months ago.
Western intelligence, on the other hand, has been extraordinarily successful in predicting the Kremlin’s next move, so his statements could have more weight in the context of the increasing war.