Protect Yourself From Russian Cyber Attacks

NEW YORK (WABC) — As threats from Russia grow, New York City officials are joining together to provide guidance on defending against cyber attacks.

Officials have warned Russia could use cyber attacks in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the United States. Miller said the threat to NYC and its critical infrastructure is always high, but NYC is currently on “ultra high alert.”

Miller said that normally the city is on “high alert” for cyber attacks, but a difference between “high” and “ultra high” alert is that they can attribute possible cyber threats to “state actors.”

Miller said 85% of critical infrastructure — water, power and transport — is privately run.

When tensions rise between the U.S. and Russia, so does the threat for tactical and strategic cyberattacks, Miller said.

“The Russian state actor, when tensions rise, increases malicious cyber attacks from both tactical — to disable systems that may be running against them from an adversary — and strategic — to be able to put pressure on other entities, be they allies or people in their interest to disable,” Miller said. “So we get that we are in a heightened threat and we have been gearing up for that heightened threat to come along from our normal high alert to ultra high alert and that’s where we are, and its working.”

Given New York’s role as the economic engine and financial center of the United States, New Yorkers face an increased risk of cyber attacks from Russia.

When asked if there have been any potential direct Russian cyber attacks against New York, Fraser said that “we have seen an uptick (in cyber threats), but we are not aware of any campaign that’s explicitly targeting the city itself.”

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