The FBI is asking US businesses to report any uptick in Russian hacking threats — the latest effort to prepare for potential Russian cyberattacks on US organizations amid Russia’s troop buildup on Ukraine’s border, CNN reported this week.
Discussing the FBI’s request, Chris Grove, technology evangelist at Nozomi Networks, explained:
It’s too late to start shoring up defenses, those that secured their systems, started years ago, have products in place today, and are better situated to defend than those just waking up to the threat. If those systems are not being fully monitored, maintained, and audited, they can assume a breach has happened and should assume they’ll need their disaster recovery plans at some point. Defenders in Ukraine should prepare as best they can, bracing for impact, but keeping an open mind to modifying operations.
Considering the veracity of past major attacks, we can expect Russia to take some sort of action, but asking every U.S. business to report anything Russian or Ukrainian to the FBI will end up artificially slanting or skewing the statistics. Any IP connected to the internet will receive a steady slow of bad packets from almost every nation, given enough time. Rarely is any of it reported, to anyone.
Singling out a sector of that traffic and generating findings based on that could lead to the false impression that there was an uptick, or the traffic from a ransomware gang gets associated with nation state actors. Asking a water or power facility operator to recognize its cyber attack that originated from (for example) Virginia AWS servers is somehow linked to Ukraine tensions, is a far stretch. Attribution is tricky for even the experts.