Assembly member Christian Baranka (R. Jefferson) said today that while the world is focusing on Russian President Vladimir Putin unprovoked invasion of UkraineNew Jersey must prepare for potential cyberattacks by Russia.

“Our state and the region are in great danger with a new aggressive Russia led by dictator Putin,” Baranka said in a statement. “I call for the necessary guarantees and strengthening of our utilities, personal and private data centers, and our financial data operations. We are, of course, the home of Jersey City, which is now known as “West Wall Street”.

“It’s everyone’s problem,” he continued. “While bad Russian actors may not hack a personal computer, it is difficult to use a computer when the power grid is off and the internet is gone. Be vigilant. “

Baranka’s comments echoed Governor Phil Murphywho said Wednesday – before the full-scale invasion – that his administration was aware of the potential threat to cybersecurity.

“We are in a very high state of readiness and protection against cyber[security]and that includes not only the state government and agencies, but also working with our private sector players and obviously working with our federal partners, ”Murphy said.

Baranka’s colleague in the legislature, State Senator Paul Sarla (D-Wood Ridge), said that introduce legislation ban New Jersey government agencies from doing business with Russia; if the legislature meets again the week after the week-long vacation, new laws could be passed.

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