Biden tells Putin: act on Russian ransomware attacks

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The big picture: U.S. President Joe Biden is putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to act on ransomware groups operating in Russia, even suggesting that the United States is prepared to respond if cyberthreats aren’t stopped.

The exchange between the two world leaders came in an hour-long phone conversation, which marked the first time Biden and Putin had discussed the ransomware attacks since Geneva’s summit in June.

Biden told reporters, “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.”

He added that the two governments have now established a method of regular communication “when each of us thinks something is happening in another country that affects the home country.” Biden added: “And so it went well. I’m optimistic.”

Also read: The Evolution of Ransomware: How Did We Get Here?

President Biden suggested that U.S. retaliation would be digital, indicating that government agencies would target Russian servers if cyberattacks continued unhindered.

That being said, Biden is indeed hopeful that such measures won’t be required. With another meeting between the pair scheduled for July 16, he told reporters: “I believe we’re going to get cooperation.”

With Russian ransomware attacks only getting worse, let’s hope this will be the case.

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