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Case Urges Heightened Preparation and Vigilance Against Cyberattacks Associated With Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Resulting Imposition of Sanctions

He relays concerns, advice and resources from briefing to Congress by the U.S. Attorney General, Directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, and others

(Honolulu, HI) - U.S. Congressman Ed Case (Hawai‘i-01) is urging all Hawai’i state and county governments, businesses and residents to practice heightened preparation and vigilance against cyberattacks on their computers and online platforms associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.

He also is relaying resources and practical advice from our country’s leading cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies together with a direct request that any online incidents or unusual activity be immediately reported to federal agencies.

“Today I joined a briefing to Members of Congress by U.S. Attorney General Garland, Director of Homeland Security Mayorkas, FBI Director Wray and our other national law enforcement and cybersecurity leaders on the reality of the heightened threat of cyberattacks associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and our response and what each of us can and should do to prepare, deter and respond,” said Case.

“The bottom line is that we should fully expect and prepare for Russia and individuals and entities associated with Russia to engage in cyber warfare across the world, as they are already doing in Ukraine and have done in our country and elsewhere in the world and as we pursue our critical response through sanctions and other means.

“This is just as true in Hawai’i as anywhere else in our country. For although we may be physically located on the other side of the world and far from the actual war, cyberattacks do not care about physical locations.”

“We should also not assume that the targets are just governments and businesses with key infrastructure roles. The intent of cyberwarfare is to disrupt economies and societies across a broad range and so nobody is immune.

“The briefers also stated that those initiating cyberattacks could be various bad actors, starting with Russia itself but also including criminal enterprises sponsored by Russia, other countries and organizations associated with Russia, or other countries, organizations and individuals who may take the opportunity to conduct their own attacks.”

Case said that the briefers asked and urged all Americans to assist, beginning with reviewing the information, resources and contact directions through the SHIELDS UP program at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) website here. CISA also offers the following contact number for questions or information: (888) 282-0870.

He also said that their number one request was that any actual attacks or unusual activity be reported as soon as possible to the federal authorities through the CISA website or the FBI. For the FBI, the number to call is 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).  You can file a report online with the FBI here.  The FBI also features an interview with the head of its Cyber-Division in Washington, DC here, with further advice on safety and security here.

“The reason for prompt reporting is that in the area of cyberattack vigilance, response and prevention time is of the essence to identify, authenticate and counter-attack,” said Case.

Case also relayed the following practical advice to heighten cybersecurity and head off attacks:

  • Update antivirus and antispyware software and operating systems to their latest versions.
  • Avoid clicking unknown links in emails
  • Enable and use multifactor authentication (MFA) wherever possible.
  • Never give your password to anyone, and do not reuse passwords across multiple sites.
  • Turn unused devices all the way on and off once a day
  • If you are not sure about an email, link, or attachment you have received, save it as an attachment and send it to your IT department or to the FBI for analysis.

“Unfortunately, this is the reality of instability and conflict in a modern world so dependent on technology, “ said Case.

“We have some of the most advanced cyber operations in the world, but others like Russia have long known that one key way to wage war is in the cyber realm and they have no hesitation to do so.

“So we must meet this threat just as seriously with preparation and defense throughout our governments, businesses, communities and homes (in addition to the counter-cyber efforts we will continue to conduct through our federal agencies).”