President Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and discussed recent ransomware cyberattacks that affected US companies. According to the White House, Biden told Putin that Russia must “take action” to “disrupt ransomware groups operating in Russia.”
Ransomware is a type of malware virus that threatens to publish data or block access to data if the victim does not pay a ransom to the hacker. US companies were targeted in ransomware attacks by a group called REvil that is believed to be based in Russia.
The White House said that Biden warned Putin the US “will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure” in the face of these ransomware attacks. When asked by reporters if Russia would face “consequences” for these cyber incidents, Biden simply replied, “Yes.”
When Biden and Putin met in Geneva on June 16th, the two leaders agreed to coordinate on cyberattacks. According to a Kremlin statement on Friday’s discussion between the two leaders, since the Geneva summit, the US had made no requests to cooperate on cyberattacks.
“In the context of the recent reports about a series of cyberattacks allegedly originating from Russia, Vladimir Putin noted that despite the Russian side’s readiness for joint efforts to stop crimes in the information space, no inquiries on these matters came from the United States’ security agencies in the past month,” the Kremlin said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.