Shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it launched a swath of cyber attacks. These attacks targeted crucial governmental infrastructure. However, Ukraine may be a test site, and other targets may come later.
Ukraine has similar cyber security standards as Europe and western North America, but limited counter-attack capabilities. Meaning Russia could test its cyber strength with no repercussions.
There is a distinction between a cyber-attack and a cyber-war. A cyber attack is generally relatively minor. A cyber attack will commonly shut down some systems, but most are unimpaired. A cyber-war could spell out complete failure, similar to the effect of a natural disaster.
If Ukraine was used only as a testing ground, how would an attack elsewhere turn out? Americans are concerned that a cyber war may collapse essential functions such as running water, internet, and cell service.