As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy continues to blast Russian President Putin, calling him a dictator and a thug.

A measure is advancing in the Legislature that would bar any public entity in the state from doing business with Russian companies or Russia itself.

In the meantime, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness is urging all Garden State residents to maintain “cyber vigilance” and be on the lookout for possible Russian cyber attacks.

NJOHSP Director Laurie Doran said these attacks would not be directed at individuals, but rather at “the government sector, military sector, financial sector, energy, from a cyber security point of view and a critical infrastructure point of view.”

She added that no credible threats currently exist against New Jersey.

A variety of targets

She said possible targets could include “schools, local governments, police departments, hospitals, banks and private sector entities linked to critical infrastructure, say for example like electric or water.”

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“Individuals who work at those locations, especially on their office emails and things like that, they should be extra vigilant, looking for any kind of weird emails, weird texts," she said.

"You can’t really rule out anything at this point, but we’re trying not to get people nervous, there are a lot of people who are on top of this, monitoring this very closely and vigilantly.”

Multiple types of attacks

She pointed out Russians have been using a variety of methods in their cyberattacks for years, including ransomware and phishing schemes.

She noted with the current situation involving Russia, if you’re not sure about an electronic message “try not to click on it.”

Doran said it’s important for targeted industries to always use multi-factor authentication when opening systems and apps.

She said if anyone notices any unusual or suspicious cyber activity they should report it to local law enforcement or to the NJOHSP cyber unit.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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