Biden calls on Putin to end cyber theft

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Biden calls Putin to take action on cyber attack
  • Biden threatens to take action if Putin does not act
  • Putin’s response to Biden call unclear

President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to take necessary action to fight ransomware attack. This comes two weeks after both presidents met to discuss about the cyber attacks

The White House announced on Friday that Biden made a phone call to Putin to make this demand. Biden’s phone call comes after multiple ransomware attacks, which the U.S has suffered this year.

The most recent ransomware attack in the U.S was against IT company Kaseya which affected thousand of other organizations using the firm’s software.

REvil, a Russia-based cybercrime outfit, has claimed responsibility for the hack and demanded a ransom of $70 million to restore the operation.

The group also claimed responsibility for May attack on JBS, the largest meat supplier in the U.S. When JBS was hacked, they had to pay $11 million in Bitcoin to the group to regain access to their computers.

What Biden said to Putin concerning ransomware attack

Although the hackers are said to be based in Russia, they don’t operate for or collaborate with the government.

“I made it very clear to [Putin] that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it’s not—not—sponsored by the state,” he told reporters, “We expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is, Biden said.

He notes that he expects Putin to take action against ransomware attacks and that there will be consequences if he doesn’t.

The U.S President also said that both countries have set up communication to discuss such matters regularly.

Putin’s response to Biden demand

White House press secretary Jen Psaki who elaborated on the call at Friday’s briefing, declined to state what Putin’s response was to President Biden. He, however, said the United States would take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure.

Psaki revealed it is the first time, even though ransomware attacks have been increasing over the past 18 months, if not longer, that there has been engagement at this level, and certainly Biden knew even when they met in Geneva that there would be a need for ongoing discussions and engagements.

He underscored the need for President Putin to take action to disrupt these ransomware groups. REvil we know operates in Russia and other countries around the world, and we don’t have additional or new information suggesting the Russian government directed these attacks.”

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