President Biden urges his Russian counterpart to prevent cyber attacks

President Biden urges his Russian counterpart to prevent cyber attacks

US President Joe Biden has urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to take action to stop recent ransomware attacks by Russian-based hacker groups.

US President Joe Biden meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, 2021. Photo: AFP

“I made it very clear to [ông Putin] that when a ransomware attack comes from their home country, even if it’s not state-backed, the United States expects that they will act if we give them enough of that information. who,” President Biden told reporters on the afternoon of July 9 at the White House.

When asked by a reporter if there were “consequences” from such cyber attacks, President Biden said “yes”.

Mr. Biden said the US and Russia have established “the current channel of communication on a regular basis, so that we can communicate with each other when each of us thinks that something is happening in another country that affects us. their country”. All in all, the phone conversation “went well, I’m optimistic,” Biden added.

The exchange between the US President and his Russian counterpart comes just days after a large-scale cyber attack carried out by the REvil hacker group believed to be based in Russia. This criminal group extorted $70 million worth of cryptocurrency to unlock data after the cyberattack spread and affected hundreds of businesses. small and in dozens of countries.

A senior US administration official said Washington would act in response to the attack. “We won’t announce exactly what those actions will look like. Some actions will be public and visible, others not, but we expect those to happen within days. and the coming weeks,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The information was revealed by the US official after President Biden boarded Air Force One to Delaware.

The REvil group’s recent cyberattack is part of a string of serious ransomware attacks that were carried out this spring and summer by hacker groups believed to be of Russian origin.

In May, REvil targeted JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier. Final, JBS paid an $11 million ransom to the hacker, but not before the company briefly halted system-wide operations in the US.

In early May, another cybercriminal group targeted the largest US gas pipeline operator, Colonial Pipeline. The cyberattack resulted in the shutdown of Colonial Pipeline about 5,500 miles of pipeline, resulting in severe disruption to fuel supplies to the US East Coast.

According to CNBC, as of the early afternoon of July 9, the Kremlin has not released the content of the phone call between President Biden and President Putin. Therefore, it is not clear exactly how the Russian President reacts to the pressure of his American counterpart.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the United States had no new information to suggest that the Russian government was directly responsible for the attacks.

President Putin has previously repeatedly denied any direct involvement or awareness of the ransomware attacks originating in Russia.

However, US officials say it is not credible that Putin does not know who the attackers are, because Putin has always maintained tight control over Russia’s intelligence activities.

In June, President Biden had a face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart in Geneva. Here, the “boss” of the White House warned the Russian President to crack down on cyber attacks originating from Russia.

Biden also said he had sent Putin a list of critical infrastructure in the United States that, if they were hacked by Russian-based cybercrime groups, would pose a serious national security threat to the United States.

“Certainly critical infrastructure must be resistant to cyber attacks or any other means,” Biden said after a meeting with his Russian counterpart. “I gave them a list of 16 specific entities that have been identified as critical infrastructure under US policy, from the energy sector to the water system,” Biden said.

“So we have agreed to task experts in both countries to find out specifically what is off-limits and to track down specific cases that originate in other countries and in one country. in our two countries,” Biden said.

The White House has so far refused to disclose details of retaliation the US is taking or has taken against cybercriminal groups responsible for some of the recent attacks, saying that information needs to be disclosed. security.