Biden calls on Putin to take measures against hacker attacks

Status: 09.07.2021 21:06

After the recent cyber attacks, US President Biden has once again asked Russian President Putin to take action against hackers. At the same time, he stressed that the US would take “every necessary measure” to protect itself.

US President Joe Biden has once again urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action against hacker groups. The White House said Biden spoke to Putin on the phone about "ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia" against the US and other countries. He made it clear that the government in Moscow must smash such hacker groups.

The conversation about the latest attacks dominated the one-hour phone call, it said. Biden had conveyed to Putin that he was responsible, even if the hackers were not controlled by his government. The US President had also stressed that the United States would take “every necessary measure” to “protect its population and critical infrastructure in the face of this ongoing challenge”.

Biden's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US government had no "additional or new information that the Russian government had ordered these attacks." But the Kremlin has "the responsibility to act".

Again and again attacks with ransomware

The USA is repeatedly the target of large-scale hacker attacks with extortion Trojans, for which Russian actors are held responsible. In May, for example, a hacker attack temporarily paralyzed the important US oil pipeline Colonial, and later it hit the US subsidiary of the world's largest meat company JBS. In the case of attacks with ransomware, the data of the attacked systems are encrypted. The hackers demand cash payments in cryptocurrency so that they can unlock access again and not publish the data.

Hundreds of companies around the world were recently paralyzed in one of the largest blackmailing hacker attacks of this kind. The hacker group "REvil" is suspected of having hijacked the desktop management tool VSA from the IT service provider Kaseya and of having installed a malicious update that infects customers. The group, located by experts in Russia, demanded 70 million US dollars (about 59 million euros) in the digital currency Bitcoin for a master key to all affected computers.

Cyber ​​attacks already a topic at the summit

The USA criticizes two different types of hacker attacks from Russia: on the one hand, by criminals who, according to the USA, can attack targets abroad undisturbed; on the other hand from Russian secret services to ministries, authorities and companies in the USA. You have already imposed sanctions on Russia for this reason. The Russian government denies such attacks. Putin also repeatedly complains about cyber attacks against Russian authorities.

Biden and Putin had already discussed the subject at their summit in Geneva in mid-June. There both agreed to start talks about cybersecurity. Biden had also warned the Kremlin chief of the consequences if the attacks spread.