Russia could 'absolutely' lash out at US through cyber, lawmaker warns 

Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, gives an opening statement as FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna and Microsoft President Brad Smith testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on February 23, 2021.

Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, gives an opening statement as FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna and Microsoft President Brad Smith testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on February 23, 2021. Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Mark Warner advises the U.S. and NATO allies to be on high alert amid global sanctions against Russia.

Russia is expected to increase its cyber attacks as it continues a military assault on Ukraine, and one lawmaker warns that the U.S. should be prepared for future high level digital attacks.

Speaking live to The Washington Post on Monday, Senator Mark Warner, D-Va. spoke about Russia’s cyber attacks on Ukraine’s networks and the spread of disinformation as part of the country’s offensive strategy.

“Do I expect Russia to up its game on cyber? Absolutely,” Warner said. “I do think we need to be prepared for high level––his A-Team––attacks against the West whether they start with nations in NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] that have weaker cyber controls or whether they go straight against the United States, Britain, France, Germany.”

Warner hypothesized that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not prioritize launching cyberattacks against Ukraine’s infrastructure, and that the U.S. and other NATO allies should brace for major cyber hacks. 

“When a top tier nation uses their top talent to attack in the cyber domain, chances are we will not be 100% effective at keeping the adversary out,” he said. Warner praised Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly for strengthening protocols and being alert against cyberattacks and ransomware.

“I think we will probably see that in the coming days and weeks as Putin tries to lash out against these crippling level of sanctions we put on him,” Warner added.

When asked about cyberattacks as a potential violation against Article Five of the NATO treaty—which would constitute an attack against all participating NATO countries—Warner said it should be considered a breach. 

“We have always reserved the right to respond to a cyber attack in another domain, kinetic or otherwise,” he said. “And the reason for that is, you know, quite honestly, we have hundreds if not thousands of cyber weapons. The Russians have the same. These can be extraordinarily destructive. And if you get into the cyber escalation, you don't know where it would end.”

Warner also advocated an international policy that regards cyberattacks as serious offenses between countries, particularly concerning critical infrastructure. The U.S. recently confronted a major infrastructure ransomware attack on the Colonial oil pipeline in the summer of 2021. The software was linked to Russian hackers. 

“There needs to be a cyber Geneva Convention, rules of the road here, not only in terms of cyber crimes, but as we see now in terms of using these tools and in the acts of war,” he said. 

This conversation follows Warner’s letters sent last Friday to social media platforms requesting the removal of content published by Russian state media and other propaganda organizations to prevent misinformation from spreading. 

And while Warner commended all companies, and Big Tech especially, for complying, he said that major online platforms need to be more responsible in monitoring content. 

“At this moment in time when these companies have such enormous power, I shouldn't have to rely on their goodwill. We need some rules of the road on social media,” he said. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.