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8344714_m featureU.S. officials and security experts are warning that Russian hackers may attack the computer networks of U.S. banks and critical infrastructure firms in retaliation for new sanctions by the Obama administration, imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Cybersecurity specialists consider Russian hackers among the best at infiltrating networks and some say that they have already inserted malicious software on computer systems in the United States.

Accordingh to HLS News Wire the Financial Services Roundtable (FRS), an industry group that includes some of the nation’s largest banks, is watching for any signs of cybertacttcks. “A cyber-attack is a real concern that we all need to have,” said Paul Smocer, head of the technology policy division for FRS. “Nation states’ ability to launch cyber-attacks is certainly real nowadays, and so in any conflict, I think that the possibility exists as we worry about escalation.”

iHLSIsrael Homeland Security

Bloomberg Businessweek notes that a cyberattack by the Russian government or independent hackers may be untraceable because identities and locations of the attackers can be masked. It took security experts months to trace an eight-month series of distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks on major U.S. banks in 2012 and 2013 to Iranian hacker group, Al Qassam Cyber Fighters. The Iranian hacking was a retaliation for U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. “There’s been a history of cyber-attacks against the industry, so we’ve prepared in terms of both strong defenses and strong information-sharing,” Smocer said.