The White House is ramping up its warnings that Russia could soon launch cyberattacks against the U.S. in response to their invasion of Ukraine, and there are concerns Russia has already laid the groundwork.
A senior White House official says they've already identified 21 hacking attempts of power and pharmaceutical companies over the past several weeks.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says the FBI is issuing warnings to banks and energy companies to upgrade their security.
President Biden has personally told business leaders that "the magnitude of Russia's cyber capability is consequential and it's coming."
"We could see circumstances wherein which a collective response by the alliance to a cyberattack would be called by an ally," says Sullivan. "That is absolutely something we and other countries could bring capacities to bear to help a country both defend itself and respond to a particular cyberattack."
If Russia does launch wide-scale, state-sponsored cyberattacks against the U.S., what would be affected? While banks and financial institutions are of concern, experts say the industry has strong defenses in place.
Peter Shankman of BluShark Digital tells FOX 5 he's much more concerned about power and water utilities.
"My bigger fear is that they are able to get into a substation grid, and it’s not so much you’d have to worry about getting your money if you have no power, right? That's my concern," he says. "The water grid, the substations for electric for power, things like that are not as protected."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that the possibility of Russian cyberattacks is a serious problem that state officials are watching closely.
Maryland's own health department website was paralyzed in a cyberattack last year. Maryland is also home to the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.