POTUS ‘Optimistic’ About Cybersecurity After Call With Putin

After a group of Russian hackers infected hundreds of organizations around the world over the Fourth of July weekend, President Joe Biden made it a priority to work some things out with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two had had several cordial encounters at last month’s G7, but President Biden had made it very clear to both Putin and the American people that he wasn’t about to roll over like his predecessor had, with every intention of imposing sanctions on Russia. During their in-person meeting, Putin denied Russia’s role in recent cyberattacks against U.S. institutions. At the time, President Biden said that the success of their talks would be determined in the next few months based on whether Putin’s confrontational posture toward the U.S. improved.

That conversation continued on Friday when during a scheduled call, the President reiterated that the U.S. “will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure,” as cyberattacks against American companies originating in Russia have continued.

The White House said that President 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.” Afterward, President Biden said that he is “optimistic” now that the two nations have increased communications to address attacks like these.


There was great pressure on President Biden to respond more aggressively to Putin, which ramped up this week after a ransomware attack by the Russian-language group REvil, which is believed to operate inside that country, hacked Kaseya, an international company that remotely controls programs for companies, impacting at least 200 U.S. companies over the Fourth of July weekend. The REvil hack is being called the largest ransomware attack in history.

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