White House warns companies to step up cybersecurity

The White House on Thursday warned corporate executives and business leaders to step up security measures to protect against ransomware attacks.

The warning follows intrusions at both a meatpacking company and an oil pipeline in the past few weeks.

Anne Neuberger, cybersecurity adviser at the National Security Council wrote in a letter to companies, (quote):

"The threats are serious and they are increasing. We urge you to take these critical steps to protect your organizations and the American public."

Adding quote:

“The private sector also has a critical responsibility to protect against these threats. All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location.”

Neuberger also outlined immediate steps companies can take to protect themselves from ransomware attacks

The letter comes after a major meatpacker resumed U.S. operations on Wednesday following a ransomware attack that disrupted meat production in North America and Australia.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that a Russia-linked hacking group that goes by the name of REvil and Sodinokibi was behind the cyberattack against JBS.

The latest cyberattack follows one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which crippled fuel delivery for several days in the U.S. Southeast.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed the issue on Wednesday:

"I would say the President, President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks, hence it will be a topic of discussion when they meet in two weeks."

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