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Biden warns US companies about possible Russian cyberattacks

President Joe Biden urged U.S. businesses Monday to ensure their digital doors were secure because of "evolving Intelligence" that Russia may be considering cyberattacks against critical infrastructure targets. This is as the war continues in Ukraine.

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Biden warns US companies about possible Russian cyberattacks

Biden addressed CEOs of corporations at their quarterly meeting and stated that they have a "patriotic duty" to protect their systems from such attacks. Biden stated that federal assistance was available for those who want it, but that they have to make the final decision.

Biden stated that the administration had issued "new warnings" based on evolving intelligence that Russia might be planning a cyberattack. ... It's quite important to note the enormity of Russia's cyber capabilities, and it's on the horizon."

President Trump stated that the federal government was "doing its bit" to prepare for an attack, and warned private-sector CEOs that the nation's interest is that they do the exact same.

Biden stated that he would respectfully suggest that it is a patriotic obligation to you to invest as much technology as possible to counter cyberattacks. We're available to assist you, as I stated, with all the tools and expertise that we have, if necessary. It's up to you to decide what steps to take, and it's not our responsibility.

Anne Neuberger (Biden's top cybersecurity adviser) expressed frustration at Monday's White House press conference that certain critical infrastructure entities had ignored federal agency alerts to correct known software problems that could have been exploited by Russian hackers.

Neuberger, the president's deputy national safety adviser for cyber- and emerging technologies, said that despite repeated warnings, adversaries continue to compromise systems using known vulnerabilities for which patches are available. This makes it much easier for attackers to compromise systems than it should be.

Since before Russia invaded Ukraine last month, the federal government has been warning U.S. businesses about the dangers posed by Russian state hackers. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency launched the "Shields Up” campaign to help companies improve their cybersecurity. It has asked companies to back-up their data, enable multifactor authentication and take other steps that will improve cyber hygiene.

Neuberger stated that no intelligence suggests a Russian cyberattack on U.S. targets. However, she added that there has been an increase in "preparatory activities," such as scanning websites and searching for vulnerabilities. This is common among nation state hackers.

Biden stated in a written statement that Russia could launch a cyberattack on U.S. targets to retaliate for the "unprecedented economic costs" imposed by sanctions.

Biden stated, "It's part Russia's playbook."

The United States and its allies have imposed a string of sanctions to cripple the Russian economy. Biden recently stated that the U.S. will send more anti-aircraft, non-armor weapons, and drones in order to assist Ukraine.

John Hultquist is a vice-president of intelligence analysis at cybersecurity firm Mandiant and said that cyberattacks give Russia the ability to respond.

He said that cyberattacks were a way for them to collect costs without going over a major redline.

Russia is a hacking powerhouse, but its cyberattacks against Ukraine since then have been minimal in comparison to what many feared. In the past, Russia has been involved in significant cyberattacks on Ukraine. This includes the NotPetya attack of 2017, which caused over $10 billion damage worldwide.

Neuberger stated that Russia is continuing cyberattacks on Ukraine, but she didn't give specifics. She stated that the Biden administration has made it clear that there will be consequences for Russia's cyber-engagement with the U.S.

"We are not seeking a conflict with Russia. She said that if Russia launches a cyberattack on the United States, she would respond.

The Russian Embassy did no immediate respond to our request for comment.


 

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