Sen. Gillibrand Calling For More Cyber Security Funding Following U.S. Sanctions On Russia

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NEW YORK (WENY) – The Russian invasion in Ukraine has been unfolding for over two weeks now and the world has hit Putin’s regime with a series of sanctions, sanctions that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warn could cause retaliatory attacks in the form of cyber warfare.

“These types of cyber security and ransomware threats especially for local, state, tribal and territorial governments have been increasing in volume for years, they need assistance to combat this threat,” said Gillibrand.

To combat these attacks Gillibrand and Schumer are pushing for an increase in funding  to the Multi State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to combat cyber attacks. During the 2021 fiscal year MS-ISAC received just over $27 million and Gillibrand and Schumer are pushing for that number to be boosted to $38 million for the 2022 Funding Package.

Gililbrand says this additional funding would allow for the expansion of the Albert Sensors program which monitors for intrusions and malicious activity.

“Scaling the program up would help us improve coordination and threat response across the government,” said Gillbrand.

Recently, cyber attacks performed by Russia have crippled banks, froze ATM’s and paralyzed airports and hospitals. Gillbrand wanted to express that these attacks are not happening in some distant country, they are happening right here in states like New York. For example,  In 2021 the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s computer systems were hacked, a system that provides rides to some 2 million people a day. While experts say the attack appeared to have done little damage, the negative repercussions could have been catastrophic.

“We have definitive evidence that they have been at this since the early 2000’s,” said Ford.

Carl Willis Ford, cyber security professor at Whatcom Community College said cyber attacks from Russia, due to the sanctions the U.S. has put in place, are very probable but he said accountability is an important factor as attacks could come from outside of the government.

“I think it is very possible that we will see [cyber attacks],” said Ford. “ Ardent Russian patriots that also have skills in the hacking community, we could easily see them striking out against a particular bank that may be taking action against Russia.”

What Ford is saying is that if you are a Microsoft, Apple, Meta, Visa, Mastercard, American Express( a complete list of companies that have put sanctions on Russia)  user you could be a victim by association. He also agrees that an increase in funding to defend against these attacks would be a smart move as the U.S., Turkey and Russia are the three leading countries when it comes to conducting cyber attacks. He also had a good idea of how this funding would be used.

“That’s a matter of improving the engineering design of the web hosting, getting load balancers in there and getting the firewall setup,” said Ford. “A lot of what they are going to be doing is adding more people, taking a better look at the engineering of their systems and basically hardening them all around.”


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