On July 9, President Biden spoke with President Putin about the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world.
A senior administration official said Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt ransomware groups operating on Russian territory, and emphasized that he’s committed to continued engagements on the broader threat posed by ransomware.
During the call, Biden reiterated that the United States will take necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge. He has also called on governments and agencies to modernize their defenses to meet this threat, building on the President’s executive order on cybersecurity that was released in May.
Referring to the call and the recent spate of attacks, the senior administration official said: “The President really meant what he said just after concluding the summit meeting in Geneva, when he said that our assessment of this process and our evaluation of Russia’s actions would take time and play out over time. The President said six months or more. This is more than just a conversation that’s taking place between the two leaders, President Biden and President Putin.
“This is really about our own resilience, as a nation, in the face of these attacks, and strengthening that. That’s what the cybersecurity executive order was largely about. It’s about addressing the challenges posed by cryptocurrency, which provides fuel for these sorts of transactions. It’s about ensuring that our allies and our partners are working with us, collaboratively, and upping their own game when it comes to resilience and these broader issues.
“So, this is a broad campaign and won’t have an immediate on-off effect like a light switch, but we’re going to have to stay on top of this over a period of time and remain focused on it.”