CNN learned about the preparation of the US authorities to repel cyber attacks from Russia
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White House representatives , U.S. intelligence, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other agencies discussed preparations for repelling cyberattacks that could be carried out in the United States and Ukraine. This is reported by CNN, citing sources in the US administration.
According to the interlocutors of the TV channel, the meeting at the interdepartmental level took place on Friday, February 11, in the format of a videoconference. It discussed what measures the US leadership, in cooperation with private companies, can take in various areas of the economy in the event of “potential attacks by cybercriminals or state-linked”; hackers.
In addition, there was discussion of “a possible increase in the number of ransomware attacks on American companies” that “Russian-speaking hackers” could allegedly carry out. The issue of providing support in the field of cybersecurity to Ukraine was also raised, where, according to sources, there is a “concrete, credible threat”; attacks on infrastructure facilities. There is no such threat in the United States at the moment, the CNN source clarified, stressing that the administration is working on steps in case the situation changes for the worse.
In mid-January, unknown hackers attacked at least 70 state websites of Ukraine, including the portals of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Sports, and other departments. They appeared appeal in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, the authors of which called on Ukrainian citizens “to be afraid and expect the worst.” In Ukraine, they believe that Russia was involved in the incident. The United States said that the attack was carried out “according to the Russian scheme.”
Moscow denies involvement in cyber attacks, and also claims that it has no aggressive plans towards Kiev.
Western media and officials began to express assumptions about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine in the fall of 2021. Washington and Brussels threaten Moscow with new sanctions in the event of an invasion.
Bloomberg previously reported that the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs is considering imposing new sanctions on Russia for Moscow's cyberattacks against Ukraine. According to the publication, some senators are pushing for the inclusion of sanctions for cyber attacks in a broader bill to take action against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.
On February 12, a Politico source said that Biden, in a conversation with European heads of state and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said that Russia was preparing a military invasion of Ukraine on February 16. At the same time, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday that the alleged Russian attack could begin before the end of the Beijing Olympics (February 20).
Amid another escalation, Biden and Russian President Vladimir made a phone call Putin. During the conversation, the US leader said that Washington is ready for both further diplomatic cooperation with Moscow and other scenarios for the development of events. Putin, in turn, pointed to the danger of the militarization of Ukraine and said that the West is not exerting due pressure on Kiev to implement the Minsk agreements.
Russia has repeatedly denied the existence of plans to attack Ukraine. According to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, the United States and Europe are themselves escalating tensions around Ukraine.
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