Russia Allegedly Planning Cyberattacks Against US

    Image copyright: AP [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • President Biden spoke with American business leaders on Mon., telling them to expand their companies' cyber defenses immediately and that the federal government would assist them as needed.

    • He noted that "evolving intelligence" indicated that Russia may attack American companies in response to the harsh sanctions on the Russian economy.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Vladimir Putin's Russia has become a dominant force in the field of cyberwarfare, and the US is gravely unprepared. The American private sector hasn't invested enough resources to defend itself from cyberthreats.

    Narrative B

    Though there's good reason to be wary of a Russian cyberattack against American companies, there's also reason to be optimistic about the US' defense capabilities. The American private sector has strengthened its defenses in recent years and is in a better position to weather disruption.

    Narrative C

    Both Russia and the West have a lot to lose in a cyberwar. If the West pushes too much, authoritarian powers may declare "cyber sovereignty" and create closed surveillance-state internets. If Russia goes too far, it would bring global condemnation and counterstrikes. Neither side wants this.

    Cynical narrative

    We've introduced this threat ourselves. For decades, governments and businesses chose to build a hyper-connected world. That means more cyber vulnerability to disruption and a sea of disinformation from myriad actors. This is a direct result of our desire for convenience.

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