Retired General Keith Alexander, former National Security Agency chief and head of the US Cyber Command, warned on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to launch cyberattacks against the US financial sector as retaliation for the West’s involvement in the war with Ukraine. Is.
Alexander said Putin has said the US intends to launch cyberattacks against Russian banks after sanctions crippled the country’s economy. The general said such a statement, which could not be independently confirmed, could give Putin the power to go after US financial institutions, including in cyberspace.
“I think he was really putting it there because [Russian] Banks are facing more problem because of sanctions than attacking anyone,” said Alexander.
,[The statement] Will also give him the right to take out his people against our financial institutions,” he said.
Alexander made his remarks during a cyber webinar organized by Ironnet, a cyber security firm founded and led by a retired general. Alexander joined other panelists who discussed a range of key issues, including whether nation-state threat actors like Russia would use cyber as a weapon to target banks and other financial institutions.
Following the invasion of Ukraine, the US and Western Europe imposed severe economic sanctions against Russia, including cutting the country from approximately $600 billion in reserves with the Central Bank of Russia, suspending its access to the US dollar and imposing on state banks. includes banning. Using SWIFT, is a messaging system used by banks to conduct international transactions.
Alexander predicted that Russia would launch cyberattacks against the US financial sector and other major industries to punish the country for its support of Ukraine.
“I think we’re going to see some of that as we go forward,” Alexander said. “I think it’s going to arise, and I think it will be punitive.”
However, four months into the war, it appears that Russia has shown cyber restraint against the US despite numerous warnings from cyber experts and government officials, predicting that Russia will launch devastating cyberattacks, especially after severe economic sanctions.
Those predictions even left Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wondering why the Russians haven’t opened up their “cyber arsenal” as well as they thought.
“I’m still relatively baffled that they haven’t launched a truly malicious level that includes their cyber arsenal,” Warner said in March.
While those predictions have yet to fully materialize, particularly in the US, some experts and policymakers have said that Russia is saving its cyber ammunition for the upcoming US elections, including the 2022 midterm.
Experts said Russia would potentially uncover a range of cyber weapons, including propaganda campaigns and election hacking, in an effort to intervene in the mid-term.
,[Putin] Troubled by a bunch of countries, probably all in the United States,” Alexander said.
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