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Biden tells Putin that Russia must crack down on cyber criminals

Joe Biden
Posted at 11:28 AM, Jul 09, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that he must “take action” against cyber criminals acting in his country and that the U.S. reserves the right to “defend its people and its critical infrastructure."

“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,” the White House said in a statement.

The conversation Friday came less than a month after the two leaders met in Geneva, when Biden warned against continuing cyberattacks emanating from Russia.

A new ransomware attack linked to the REvil hacking group based in Russia caused widespread disruption last weekend.

Friday’s call underscored the extent to which the ransomware threat from criminal hacker gangs has mushroomed into an urgent national security challenge for the White House.

The White House said Biden and Putin also commended the joint work of their teams following the U.S.-Russia Summit that led to the unanimous renewal of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria today in the UN Security Council.