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Ukraine War Has U.S. States On High Alert For Cyber Attacks

President Biden this week urged U.S. companies to be on high alert because of “evolving intelligence” that Russia is exploring options for potential cyberattacks against critical infrastructure targets, Stateline reports. Even before Biden’s warning, state and local governments were shoring up their cybersecurity in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the elevated threat of cyberattacks. Nearly two weeks before Russian troops poured over the border, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a “Shields Up” warning about the growing threat. It advised every organization, including state and local governments, to “adopt a heightened posture” and be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered his Office of Information Technology to identify and focus resources on protecting critical state infrastructure from Russian cyberattacks. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state information technology and public safety officials to make sure cyber incident response teams are ready and that a potential cyber intrusion can be quickly detected through antivirus and other software. Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a federally funded group that helps state and local governments prevent and respond to digital threats, has boosted its efforts, said the center's Randy Rose. The group sent information to every state about ways to take defensive actions. States shouldn’t focus just on Russia, Rose noted, because other cybercriminals and “state actors” may attempt to take advantage of the increased focus on Russia “to slip in unnoticed.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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