August 5, 2021

Biden calls on Putin to act against cyberattacks from Russia

Joe Biden asked Vladimir Putin on Friday, July 9, during a telephone exchange, to act against the attacks on the ” Ransomware “ carried out from Russia, under penalty of seeing the United States “The necessary measures” to defend.

The American president, who had already raised the tone on the subject when he met his Russian counterpart in Geneva in June, had been under pressure since the spectacular assault carried out a week ago against the American computer company Kaseya by Russian-speaking hackers.

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Faced with a Republican opposition that demands retaliation, Joe Biden had discussed Tuesday with senior officials, including intelligence or justice, the response. He then declared that he “Transmit” a message to Vladimir Putin.

On Friday, the Democrat therefore spoke live with his Russian counterpart. “The President stressed the importance of Russia taking action against groups that practice ransomware” from its soil, according to a statement from the White House. He “Reiterated that the United States will take all necessary measures to defend its inhabitants and their essential infrastructure in the face of this persistent challenge”, according to this report. The discussion “Went well, I’m optimistic”Joe Biden then said. Asked about potential ” consequences “, he assured that ” Yes “, there would be, without revealing anything.

“Cyber ​​capability”

The United States has been hit recently by numerous attacks in ” Ransomware “ or « ransomware », which consist of breaking into an entity’s networks to encrypt its data, then demanding a ransom, most often in bitcoins, in exchange for the decryption key.

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In addition to Kaseya, which has still not been able to restart its servers, hackers have attacked the meat giant JBS, the oil pipeline manager Colonial Pipeline, but also local communities and American hospitals.

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Even though Moscow denies any responsibility, most of these extortion attempts have been blamed on hackers operating from Russian territory.

At their summit in Switzerland, the two men addressed the issue and agreed to continue the dialogue with meetings between Russian and American cybersecurity experts. Joe Biden had also threatened his counterpart with retaliation if red lines were crossed. “I pointed out to him that we had a significant cybernetic capacity”, he had reported. “Most cyberattacks in the world come from American space”, replied Vladimir Putin, accusing Washington of not cooperating against hackers.

“Apolitical”

On Friday, on the phone, the Russian president remained on this line. “Vladimir Putin noted that, despite the Russian willingness to help fight cybercriminals, in recent months we have not received any requests” aid from US investigators, according to a Kremlin report. “Given the scale and the dangerousness of the problem, interactions between Russia and the United States must be permanent, professional and apolitical”, according to this press release.

The US Department of Justice estimated in June “Useless” to make extradition requests to Russia, accused of protecting hackers installed on its soil in exchange for their help “In areas of government interest”.

Despite everything, the White House seems to want to avoid a too direct confrontation. His spokesperson Jen Psaki pointed out on Friday “Not to have any new information suggesting that the Russian government may have led” the latest attacks.

The World with AFP