U.S. Will 'Take Any Necessary Action' After Latest Massive
Ransomware Attack, Biden Tells Putin
July 12, 2021
U.S. President Joe Biden has urged Russian counterpart Vladimir
Putin in a phone call to "take action" against ransomware groups
operating in Russia, the White House said.
Ransomware attacks on the United States and other countries have
increased sharply over the past year and have included a
high-profile attack that shut down a major fuel pipeline in the
eastern United States.
Biden told Putin during the call on July 9 that the United
States will take "any necessary action" to defend Americans and
critical infrastructure threatened by cyberattacks, the White
The call, which the White House said lasted about an hour, took
place days after Florida-based technology firm Kaseya’s
remote-management software tool was targeted by a ransomware
attack that impacted hundreds of U.S. businesses and up to 1,500
Information about the extent of the attack, which cybersecurity
experts have said is the biggest ransomware attack on record,
The Russia-based cybercriminal group REvil claimed credit for
the attack and demanded $70 million worth of bitcoin as ransom
to decrypt software and allow owners to access data.
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," the White
House said in a statement.
Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt
ransomware groups operating in Russia and emphasized that he is
committed to continued engagement on the broader threat posed by
ransomware," it said.
"President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any
necessary action to defend its people and its critical
infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge."
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington does not "have
additional or new information suggesting that the Russian
government directed these attacks," but that the Kremlin has
"responsibility to take action."
The conversation between the two leaders came less than a month
after they held their first face to face meeting in Geneva, when
Biden first warned against continuing cyberattacks on U.S.
businesses and infrastructure emanating from Russia.