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Biden hosts Big Tech CEOs to talk cyber threats

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BIDEN: "...the federal government can't meet this challenge alone."

President Joe Biden called on the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM to redouble their efforts to fend off ransomware and other cybersecurity breaches, after a series of high-profile attacks on U.S. firms that hurt the economy far beyond just the companies that were hacked.

BIDEN: "I've invited you all here today because you have the power and the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cyber security."

The meeting in the East Room of the White House also included executives from the finance and infrastructure industries.

Cybersecurity has risen to the top of the agenda for Biden after recent cyber attacks on Colonial Pipeline, which led to a run on fuel at gas stations across the U.S. southeast,

...on meat processing company JBS, which affected U.S. food supplies,

...on software company Kaseya, which paralyzed as many as 1,500 businesses that used its products,

...and on network management company SolarWinds, the worst-ever cyber-espionage attack on the U.S. government, which has blamed Russia for the breach.

After the meeting, Amazon said it would make its cybersecurity training available to the public for free, and it would give multi-factor authentication devices to some cloud computing customers.

Microsoft said it will invest $20 billion over five years to speed up its cyber security work, a four-fold increase from current rates.

Google said it was devoting $10 billion to cybersecurity over the next five years, but it was not immediately clear what if any of the figure represented new spending.

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