How to protect your devices as Russia ramps up cyberattack amid continued Ukraine war

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
How to protect your devices as Russia ramps up cyberattacks
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Russia is ramping up cyberattacks and disinformation on social media as it continues its attack on Ukraine.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, President Joe Biden announced concerns that attacks could move to cyberspace, potentially impacting American businesses and even your personal devices.

Security experts and even a government agency all agree you should be on the alert.

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, issued a "Shields Up Warning" stating that "Every organization, large and small, must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity."

"First and foremost we need to have heightened awareness, citizens should be aware," said Kory Daniels, Chief Information Security Officer at Chicago's Trustwave. "You should ensure that if you haven't already that you do make sure the software and that the devices that you use for everyday purposes, is has up-to-date software in it."

After your software update, make sure you're current on anti-virus protection on other devices like laptops and desktops.

You should also call your router manufacturer or Wi-Fi provider and ask them about password and security updates.

"A lot of these routers come with a stock passwords and so they come with you and did the user name admin with a password that was provided to you that you may or may not have changed as a consumer," said Daniels.

Northwestern University Professor Michael Rogers, former head of the U.S. Cyber Command and former director of the National Security Agency, or NSA, said the government and financial institutions have already prepared for Russian cyberattacks.

"They are being very aggressive in assessing their own cybersecurity and increasing that cybersecurity," he explained. "We can believe in our institutions, we can believe in each other and while there may be some measure of pain ahead for us, we can deal with this."

Rogers also warned Americans on social media that they need to be wary of Russian disinformation campaigns on the war in Ukraine, which are prevalent on those platforms.

"They believe in the power of lies. Collectively, as a nation, we have got to start broadening the information sources we use as we're assessing the world around us," he said.

Security experts said now is a good time to change all of your passwords, including your cloud password which can be a gateway to your phone and your life. And, as the I-Team has recommended before, enable two-factor authentication on all accounts for which it is available.