President Joe Biden is urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action against cybercriminals in response to the latest ransomware attack to hit some U.S. companies.
President Biden told Putin over a telephone call that the United States will “take any necessary action to defend its people.”
“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,” the President told reporters.
“Secondly, that we have set up a means of communication now on a regular basis to be able to communicate to one another when each of us thinks something is happening in the other country that affects the home country. It went well, I went optimistic.”
Last week, Kaseya, a software firm, was attacked. More than 1000 businesses around the world were impacted. The attack is being tagged as “the biggest ransomware attack in history.” Cybersecurity experts believe that a Russian cybercriminal group, REvil, is responsible. The hackers demanded $70 million to restore the firm’s system.
In May, the largest petroleum pipeline in the United States, The Colonial Pipeline, experienced a malware cyberattack that shut down their operation for six days. The same Russian cybercriminal is believed to be behind the attack. The oil company paid a $5 million ransom to the hackers.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday that Russia has a responsibility to take action because the United States knows that the cybercriminal group, REvil, operates in Russia and other countries around the world.
Psaki says that the President’s intention of calling President Putin “was to make clear and reiterate again that ransomware attacks by criminal groups on entities in the United States is not acceptable and that we reserve the right to take action.”