One possible threat to Hawaii amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Cybersecurity attacks

The everyday person won't necessarily be the target, but attacks against bigger entities could have a cascading effect.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:02 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Office of Homeland Security said cyberattacks are the most likely threats Hawaii could face from Russia’s war on Ukraine.

According to the office, the everyday person won’t necessarily be the target.

It is much more likely that utilities or businesses will be attacked.

“Those are a variety of sectors, which are related to our energy, supplier water, or transportation, or our energy and so forth,” said Frank Pace, the administrator for the Hawaii Office of Homeland Security.

Hawaiian Electric said in a statement that they are constantly investing in strengthening their cybersecurity defenses and are working with key partners in light of the recent events in Ukraine.

Pace said they aren’t expecting massive attacks, but said targeted attacks through ransomware or malware are possible.

“They tend to have a cascading and or secondary effects that really aren’t intended for the individual, but ultimately are very pervasive,” Pace said. “And we’ve seen that with issues previously related to impact to Office 365 and other software applications.”

Ryan Ozawa, tech and security expert, said that those attacks have gone up.

“Now that we are in this elevated situation of conflict, we are absolutely seeing much more activity many more attacks just broadly across the internet,” Ozawa said.

Ozawa said that you can protect yourself. The steps to take are likely the ones you’ve heard before.

“The fact of the matter is, the basic precautions you should take are always the same,” Ozawa said.

“Not using the same password in more than one location is probably the biggest one. But even as simple as not opening attachments in your email, unless you’re completely sure, is very important.”

You should also make sure your devices are up-to-date and there’s virus protection.

Any workers in vulnerable industries should report any suspicious activity to the State Fusion Center.

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