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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Lawmakers worry of Russian cyberattacks after Ukraine invasion

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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say they’re concerned Russia could target the U.S. and other NATO countries with cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.

“To attack American companies or American infrastructure,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “We have to hope and pray that doesn’t happen.”

In retaliation for new sanctions, Russia could target power grids, banks and other critical infrastructure in the U.S. or other NATO countries.

“Those tools get into the wild and they cause global damage,” Schiff said. “In warfare, there is always the risk of escalation.”

National Security Council spokesperson Matthew Miller said there haven’t been any cyberattacks against the U.S. since the Russian invasion of Ukraine — but it doesn’t mean it cannot happen.

“We haven’t seen any cyberattacks against the United States in the early hours of this conflict,” Miller said. “If there are cyberattacks, we’ll be ready to address those in due course, but I wouldn’t want to speculate.”

Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler says Americans have seen the damage cyberattacks can cause.

“We’ve seen what they’ve done with the Colonial Pipeline, shutting it down,” Hartzler said. “We’ve seen their attacks on JBS, a meatpacking company.”

President Joe Biden said the U.S. has worked to harden cyber defenses and sharpen the ability to respond to cyberattacks.

“If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond,” he said.


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