The White House has issued a warning to businesses that Russia may be preparing cyberattacks against key infrastructure in the United States.

President Biden reaffirmed the message on Monday, saying that developing intelligence revealed Russia is looking into options for possible cyberattacks. The US has repeatedly warned about the Russian government’s ability to target US corporations digitally.

The planned assaults would be in retaliation for US sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.

An uptick in malicious activity

Anne Neuberger, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology, urged businesses to secure their systems by using authentication methods, updates, and patches against known vulnerabilities, backing up data, conducting drills, and collaborating with federal authorities before a cyberattack occurs.

According to Neuberger, the administration had confidential briefings with firms last week based on “preparatory activities” detected by US intelligence. However, the US government is unsure whether a definite cyberattack is imminent.

According to Neuberger, the US has seen an uptick in malicious activity while noting how bad actors could quickly exploit vital targets.

Russia’s prolific hacking campaigns

In recent years, cybercriminals linked to Russia have carried out multiple assaults in the United States, including the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline in May, which resulted in gas shortages on the East Coast, and an attack on the meat processor JBS just a few weeks after that.

Through a software update, hackers thought to be orchestrated by Russian intelligence infiltrated roughly 100 corporations and a dozen government institutions in one of the most extensive documented attacks. The issue had gone unnoticed for months until it became public news in December 2020.

Russia has accused the United States of initiating its own strikes in the usual game of ‘who’s the villain!’