Putin likely to be more tempted by cyber attacks – expert

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US President Joe Biden has suggested Moscow could act in retaliation for sanctions with cyber attacks targeting the US.

He said Russia was “exploring” a cyber attack – claims the Kremlin has rejected.

Russia has not yet launched major cyberattacks in the Ukraine war because President Vladimir Putin knows they “can get out of control”, a cyber expert has said.

Samantha Ravich, chair of a cyber crime think tank in the US, tells BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme Russia was widely believed to have launched a major cyber attack against Ukraine in 2018 in the form of a virus that spread and ended up going global, including affecting the NHS.

She says: “It was not contained. At this point, I think Putin still wants to be able to control where and when he is going to attack but as that window is closing if he feels more and more desperate.”

Putin is likely becoming more tempted to launch such an attack, she says.

Asked how countries could prepare, she says organisations should “harden the castle wall”, including backing up data and improving security for networks.

But she says there should have been more long-term planning to deal with cyber threats.

Asked if cyber was the threat that not had yet barked, she adds: “It will bark.”

 

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