Biden Says Putin Will Get Message on Cyberattacks

Latest attacks will test his vow for consequences for Russia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2021 7:05 PM CDT
Biden Says He Will Send Message to Putin on Cyberattacks
President Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure spending at McHenry County College, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake, Ill.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden said Wednesday he would "deliver" a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the latest ransomware attacks targeting American businesses, setting up a test of Biden's ability to balance his pledge to respond firmly to cyber breaches with his goal of developing a stable relationship with Russia. The administration faces few easy options for a ransomware threat that in recent months has emerged as a major national security challenge, with attacks from Russia-based gangs that have targeted vital infrastructure and extorted multimillion-dollar payments from victims, the AP reports. The White House says the damage from the latest attack—affecting as many as 1,500 businesses worldwide—appeared minimal, though cybersecurity experts said information remained incomplete.

The malicious intrusion exploited a powerful remote-management tool run by Miami-based software company Kaseya. It occurred weeks after Biden made clear to Putin that the US would not tolerate attacks. Biden met Wednesday with Vice President Kamala Harris and top national security aides to discuss the problem. As he departed the White House to travel to Illinois, Biden was opaque when asked what exactly he would convey to Putin. "I will deliver it to him," Biden told reporters. A White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday that combatting ransomware remained a priority, but that the years-long threat "won’t just turn off as easy as pulling down a light switch." "No one thing is going to work alone and only together will we significantly impact the threat," the statement said.

(Read more cyberattack stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.