President Joe Biden sent a thinly veiled threat to Russian leaders Tuesday, saying a ransomware attack allegedly launched from its soil did “minimal” damage in the United States while touting Washington’s ability to strike back.
An offshoot of the Russia-based group REvil has been pinpointed in a weekend attack called the largest cyberattack in world history, impacting thousands of businesses. The gang says it will unlock the affected systems for $70 million in cryptocurrency, which the Biden administration is urging the companies not to pay.
The attack targeted firms that do IT work for other companies, sending ripples across the globe and closing hundreds of supermarkets in Europe.
The U.S. leader was asked about the attack on Miami-based Kaseya, a software company, just weeks after Biden says he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on cybercriminal groups that operate inside his country.
The Kaseya attack did “minimal damage to U.S. businesses,” Biden told reporters after delivering remarks on the federal government’s COVID-19 response and vaccine push.
Following their closed-door summit in Geneva, Switzerland, last month, Biden contended he warned Putin about a U.S. retaliation if the ransomware attacks continued. Specifically, the American president claims he asked his counterpart how he would feel if Russian oil fields were hit with debilitating cyberstrikes.
He repeated that warning on Tuesday.
“I feel good,” Biden said, “about our ability to be able to respond.”
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Original Author: John T. Bennett