“If it seems that Russia is pummeling Ukraine with cyberattacks,” he stated, “and if that continues over the interval forward, we’ll work with our allies on the suitable response.”

Mr. Sullivan stated that the US had been working with Ukraine to harden its programs and American networks if the string of ransomware and different assaults from Russia accelerates in the US.

For President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Ukraine has usually been a testing vary for cyberweapons.

An assault on Ukraine’s Central Election Fee throughout a presidential election in 2014, by which Russia sought unsuccessfully to alter the outcome, proved to be a mannequin for the Russian intelligence businesses; the US later discovered that that they had infiltrated the servers of the Democratic Nationwide Committee in the US. In 2015, the primary of two main assaults on Ukraine’s electrical grid shut off the lights for hours in numerous elements of the nation, together with in Kyiv, the capital.

And in 2017, companies and authorities businesses in Ukraine have been hit with harmful software program known as NotPetya, which exploited holes in a sort of tax preparation software program that was broadly used within the nation. The assault shut down swaths of the financial system and hit FedEx and the transport firm Maersk as properly; American intelligence officers later traced it to Russian actors. That software program, at the least in its general design, bears some resemblance to what Microsoft warned of on Saturday.

The brand new assault would wipe onerous drives clear and destroy recordsdata. Some protection consultants have stated such an assault might be a prelude to a floor invasion by Russia. Others assume it might substitute for an invasion, if the attackers believed a cyberstrike wouldn’t immediate the sort of monetary and technological sanctions that Mr. Biden has vowed to impose in response.

John Hultquist, a number one cyberintelligence analyst at Mandiant, stated on Sunday that his agency had been telling its shoppers “to organize for harmful assaults, together with assaults which can be designed to resemble ransomware.”

He famous that the Russian hacking unit generally known as Sandworm, which has since been carefully linked to the Russian army intelligence company, the G.R.U., had spent current years creating “extra refined technique of important infrastructure assault,” together with in Ukraine’s energy grid.


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