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A senior official of the Justice Department issued a warning on Thursday to the US and other global organizations, calling them to instantly shore up their cybersecurity guards amid a probable Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lisa Monaco, the deputy attorney general, stated at the Munich Cybersecurity Conference:

“Given the very high tensions that we are experiencing, companies of any size and all sizes would be foolish not to be preparing right now as we speak — to increase their defences, to do things like patching, to heighten their alert systems, to be monitoring in real-time their cybersecurity,”

“They need to be, as we say, ‘shields up’ and to be really on the most heightened level of alert that they can be and taking all necessary precautions.”

According to Monaco, the threat is not hypothetical at all. She further cited 2017’s NotPetya cyberattack, which stirred in Ukraine but later outstretched across the world, causing damage worth billions of dollars.

Monaco declared:

“I think cybercriminals need to know that — and cyber malicious actors need to know — that attacks on critical infrastructure are unacceptable and will be met with response,”

Earlier this week multiple agencies of the United States cautioned regarding a cyberattack occurring simultaneously as the possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s head cybersecurity officials on Monday warned of possible cyberattacks on the cyberinfrastructure of the US considering the tense situation in Ukraine.

The DHS explicitly alerted the Russian cyberattack last Friday and veiled comment of the continuing geopolitical conditions.

“The Russian government has used cyber as a key component of their force projection over the last decade, including previously in Ukraine in the 2015 timeframe,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned in an online post. “The Russian government understands that disabling or destroying critical infrastructure—including power and communications—can augment pressure on a country’s government, military and population and accelerate their acceding to Russian objectives.”

According to the officials, Ukraine already believed that they were victims of a Russian cyberattack last month. Russian hackers were allegedly behind attacks on Ukrainian’s official state websites and government platforms.

CISA, FBI, and the NSA cautioned the defense contractors as the Russian government-backed hackers continue exploiting their networks.

As per the joint release of Wednesday, the US cleared defense contractors have been targeted by the state-sponsored Russian cyber attackers from the year 2020 to Feb 2022.

According to the agencies, various intelligence and defense sectors have been targeted by Russian hackers. These sectors include software development, weapons development, intelligence, and surveillance. 

The agencies further warned that Russian cyberattackers initially use Microsoft 365 to enter the systems, obtain credentials, and then send malware to devices without anyone knowing.

As per the joint bulletin:

“Historically, Russian state-sponsored cyber actors have used common but effective tactics to gain access to target networks, including spear phishing, credential harvesting, brute force/password spray techniques, and known vulnerability exploitation against accounts and networks with weak security”

According to the CISA, NSA, and FBI:

“These continued intrusions have enabled the actors to acquire sensitive, unclassified information, as well as CDC-proprietary and export-controlled technology,”