Biden to tell Putin to take action against Russia’s ransomware criminals | national
President Joe Biden will pressure President Vladimir Putin at their meeting this month to crack down on Russia-based hackers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
The message from the US President at the one-on-one meeting in Geneva on June 16 will be that “responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals, and responsible countries must take decisive action against these ransomware networks,” he said. said Psaki.
Hackers have disrupted critical US services in a series of attacks, demanding that companies pay ransom to unfreeze data and computers. Among the victims are Colonial Pipeline Co. and JBS SA, the world’s largest meat processor.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that Biden’s message should be clear and definitive: “You keep doing this, you will pay the price. Period, ”Panetta said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s“ Balance of Power ”program.
“President Biden must make it very clear that there are lines here that the Russians cannot cross,” he said. “Putin only understands very loud speeches.”
Although Panetta, a former Democratic congressman, did not say what action could be taken against Russia, he mentioned that the United States has developed capabilities to stage offensive cyber operations.
U.S. officials have determined that the criminal hacking groups behind the attacks were likely operating from Russia. The Russian government has denied knowing or being involved in the attacks, a claim Panetta said he did not believe.
“These criminal organizations are operating under the cover of the Russian government, and they are basically doing what the Russian government supports, which is to undermine the United States of America,” said Panetta.
The Biden administration must also develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that involves working with the private sector and developing cutting-edge technologies, Panetta said.
Panetta added that it was “dangerous” for companies to continue paying ransoms to hackers. “If they pay these ransoms, they send a signal to these criminal organizations to continue doing what they are doing,” he said.
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