Putin could hit back at tough UK sanctions with ‘devastating’ cyber attacks within ‘DAYS’

Ukraine: Russia and Belarus are ‘two aggressors’ says Pabriks

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Since Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine last week, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been announcing various lists of sanctions against the Russian President and his connections. Under the sanctions imposed by countries such as the UK, US and Canada, Russia has become economically isolated with access cut to its foreign currency reserves and an expulsion from international financial transaction system Swift paralysing its banking system.

However, an expert has warned that Putin is likely to retaliate against the UK in a series of devastating cyber attacks that could be launched at any time.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Danny Lopez, the CEO of a cybersecurity technology company Glasswell, warned against such attacks by Russian hackers.

He said: “I think that we have to expect and we have to prepare for attacks in the coming days, weeks, and months.

“Any other disposition would be the wrong one.

“We spent months thinking ‘Russia wouldn’t do that’ and every single time they did do it.

“When it comes to cyber attacks, it is a very effective way of causing disruption, confusion, fear, chaos.

“It’s absolutely right that security in the UK should be in a high state of alert and be in defence mode from right now.”

Though Mr Lopez believed that targeted attacks on the UK are highly likely as a retaliation to the sanctions imposed on Russia, another threat that the UK faces is disruption and chaos through indirect attacks by targeting specific companies in a supply chain.

He said: “We know that attacks originating in Russia are most likely state-sponsored.

“I think we look back at 2017, at the NotPetya cyberattacks that had huge impacts on infrastructure, critical services, etc.

“That is an example of an attack that wasn’t aimed to spread around the world, but it did,”

In 2017, Ukrainian computers were infected with a deadly malware called NotPetya, which soon spread around the world, with infections being reported in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the US.

Mr Lopez continued: “It’s an important distinction here, it could be a targeted attack- which is very likely as we the UK continue to impose very tough sanctions.

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“The reality is a tit for tat world, a strong sanction could very well lead to cyber-attacks coming our way.

“Then there are also examples like the NotPetya 2017 attacks which is a prime example of attacks that are not necessarily aimed at countries, but in the interconnected digital world we live in, that’s exactly what will happen.

“An attack that is not aimed at the UK, could affect the UK and have devastating consequences.”

Ukraine has already successfully mounted cyber strikes of its own against Russia, and last night asked for help from South Korea in strengthening its posture.

And US President Joe Biden has reportedly been presented with an array of options to mount an offensive on a “scale never before contemplated”.

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