Biden Warns Putin The US Will React To Attacks

Following an Executive Order  in May requiring US Companies to change the ways they report  serious data breaches, President Biden indicated that he and President Vladimir Putin of Russian had  established a more direct means of communication.  

Now, during an hour-long phone call, Biden has told Putin that the US will take "any necessary action" to stop cyber attacks from Russia. 

This phone call between Putin and Biden took place following their face to face meeting in Geneva in June and took place amid an increase in attacks, including a sophisticated supply chain attack that  that disabled hundreds of US companies and spilled over to Europe.  

Speaking to reporters after the phone call, President Biden said "I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it's not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is... And, secondly, that we have set up a means of communications now, on a regular basis, to be able to communicate to one another when each of us thinks something is happening in another country that affects the home country," he continued. "And so, it (the phone conversation) went well. I’m optimistic."

When asked whether the US could attack the servers used by the hackers, the US President replied "Yes"

Despite readiness from the Russian side to jointly address international online criminal activity, Russian government sources say that  "no requests have been received from the relevant US departments." This is in contradiction to US government sources, which claim that Biden administration had made "multiple, specific requests for action". 

Damaging large scale Ransomware attacks have grown over the last two years and according to the US, many of the worst attackers originate in Russia, often  with the tacit knowledge and approval, from the Russian government security services. 

Mr Biden said that the call with Putin came as part of a new, "more direct means of communication". The new connection, Mr Biden said, allows each side to "communicate to one another when each of us thinks something's happening in the other country.  "It affects the home country. And so it went well. I'm optimistic."

The message Mr Biden said he had delivered recently to Putin was similar to the message that he brought when the two leaders held their first  in Switzerland. Since then, the Russian based REvil hacking group unleashed a massive attack that caused outages across the globe. 

A Kremlin statement released recently indicated that the two leaders discussed "the need for substantive and constructive cooperation" between Russia and the United States on matters relating to cyber security. But the statement also suggested the US had not made any formal appeals to Russia regarding recent cyber-attacks. "In the context of recent reports about a series of cyber-attacks allegedly committed from the territory of Russia, Vladimir Putin noted that, despite the readiness of the Russian side to jointly suppress criminal manifestations in the information space, no appeals on these issues have been made by the competent US agencies over the past month," the statement said.

Reuters:       AlJazeera:     BBC:        CNN:       Tasnim News:      The Times:   

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