Concerns over cyber security heightened amid Russian invasion

Cybersecurity Ransomware Reward
Posted at 9:37 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 23:50:58-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Russia continues to invade Ukraine, the threat of a different attack still looms — one that doesn't involve guns or missiles.

The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency said "while there are no specific or credible cyber threats to the U.S. homeland at this time, Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which has involved cyberattacks on Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure organizations, may impact organizations both within and beyond the region, particularly in the wake of sanctions imposed by the United States and our Allies. Every organization — large and small — must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity."

While the threat of cyber warfare is real, retired FBI special agent Scott Augenbaum said he's worried more about something else.

"What about the cybercrime aspect? What about the fact that all this weaponized code that Russian organized crime has and the Russian government has can be used by the cybercriminals to target individuals? That's what concerns me," he said. "Now with everything going on in Russia with the attack of Ukraine, I'm telling you, it's almost game on for the cybercriminals."

The author and cyber security expert said he gives the same advice to major companies as he does to individuals: develop a "cyber secure mindset."

"People tell me all the time, 'I have antivirus, I have identity theft monitoring," said Augenbaum. "That's not going to prevent all of your threats."

Augenbaum said there are basic methods to protect yourself. First: back up all your information, whether it's on your computer or cell phone. Second: he said email is the No. 1 form of attack — become a human firewall and think before you click. Third: use separate passwords for all your platforms. Lastly: always be sure to turn on two factor authentication.

"If it gets bad I think we potentially could see possible attacks, and I hate to say it, what is that watershed moment that's going to have to happen for people to take things seriously?" Augenbaum said.