Russia invasion sparks cyber warfare concerns

Cyber security expert warns of potential threat
US officials: Russian 'digital fingerprints' all over election hacks
Posted at 11:11 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 08:16:06-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — News of Russia invading Ukraine has sparked concern worldwide. Now, threats of cyber warfare in the United States are top of mind for some.

With smartphones and so many people working from home, danger is in the palm of your hand. Just one click away.

"I don't want any Ukrainians to die," said Michael Wojas, who lives in West Palm Beach and has friends and family in Poland and Romania. "I don't want any Russians to die. I don't want this to go any further than it's already gone."

Wojas said he is "hoping this can get figured out sooner than later diplomatically."

With cyber attacks top of mind, Wojas said he only communicates overseas through encrypted messaging apps.

"Cyber warfare, that's the new war front. I mean, cyber security is huge," said Wojas. "I mean, if they turn off the power, what can you really do? Mess up the GPS systems? How many people would know how to get home?"

Thousands of cyber attacks are being detected and stopped every second globally.

"I think we've seen attacks that people think are big, but are tiny probing things," said Alan Crowetz, a cyber security expert and CEO of Infostream Inc.

Crowetz said hackers have been mapping out cyber vulnerabilities for years.

"Imagine shutting off power plants or water supplies," said Crowetz. "We've seen hospitals taken out by something as simple as ransomware, which is very basic, and all of the sudden lives are at risk because of that."

According to the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, more than 90% of successful cyber attacks start with a phishing email.

"You should always be concerned," said Crowetz. "I'm never going to tell people not to be concerned about cyber security as a general principle. The world is not paranoid enough about cyber security and things like that."

So what can you do to stay safe?

  • Turn on multi-factor authentication
  • Update your software
  • Think before you click. Don't click on any suspicious links
  • Have a strong password