Breaking News
More () »

Threat of Russian cyberattack on U.S. becoming more and more probable

Russia launched cyberattacks on Ukraine's government websites and now there is growing fear it will be the United States' turn.

CONNECTICUT, USA — As some experts predicted, cyberattacks have accompanied Russia's military assault on Ukraine. 

Last week, it left many of Ukraine's government websites unreachable, and now there is growing fear the United States will be next. 

The Department of Homeland Security did warn if the United States were to intervene in the Russian invasion, there is a pretty high chance Russia would initiate a cyberattack against the United States. A cyber security professor at the University of Connecticut said so far, there is no credible threat but companies and major corporations should be on heightened alert just in case. 

"Cyber is a weapon," said Art House, a cyber security professor at UConn. 

When it comes to cyberattacks, it does not discriminate nor does it carry any borders. 

RELATED: Cyberattacks accompany Russian military assault on Ukraine, as experts predicted

Initially, there was no real concern for the United States to be its next target, but as the United States imposed its sanctions against Russia, the Biden Administration is telling people to be on guard. 

A cyberattack can be just as dangerous as a physical attack on a location where data can be stolen and computers can be disabled. 

While there are red flags and safety tips for individual internet users to follow, House said there is an even bigger concern. 

"What I'm more concerned about is something that would hit the state, hit the companies, that would hit on a larger scale rather than an individual," said House. 

RELATED: White House accuses Russia of cyberattacks targeting Ukraine

So FOX61 asked House what can happen if a cyberattack were to follow?

"Going without electricity and once you're without electricity, you can no longer purify water, you can't communicate, ATMs, banks, and all the others we worry about ... although the chances are low, the consequences shouldn't happen are very high," said House.

Experts are urging all Americans to practice what is called "cyber hygiene." 

It includes: 

- Updating your anti-virus and malware systems

- Think before you click on links or attachments 

- Use strong, unique passwords 

- Don't believe everything you read online 

RELATED: Ukraine: Government websites down after cyberattack

"If you're getting your news from Tik Tok or getting your news from online type of stuff, you're probably in the wrong place," said Guy Walsh of the National Security Collaboration Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

As just in case, prepare for a cyberattack as you would for severe weather. 

"We need to plan for that just as we'd plan for hurricanes, we'd plan for ice storms, we'd plan for floods," said House. 

All of these preparations may sound daunting, but it is important to note, if a cyberattack were to happen, it would likely focus on businesses rather than individuals. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out