Biden: Russia Is Exploring Cyberattack Options, Tells US to Harden Networks

Biden says the warning is based on “evolving intelligence.”

Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard's podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.

The Russian government is “exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” according to a statement from U.S. President Biden.

The statement comes as the invasion of Ukraine has seen a less dramatic or public facing use of hacking tools that some people may have expected. At the start of the invasion, suspected Russian hackers deployed wiper malware on targets in Ukraine. Now, Biden in his statement suggested that Russia could pivot its hacking activities to the U.S.

Advertisement

“This is a critical moment to accelerate our work to improve domestic cybersecurity and bolster our national resilience,” Biden’s statement read. “I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners. It’s part of Russia’s playbook. Today, my Administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”

Do you know anything about these cyberattacks? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.

Biden specifically pointed to critical infrastructure, adding his administration would “deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure.”

He made an appeal to the private sector, which is a crucial part of defending computer networks from attack, to harden their defenses if they have not already done so. 

“Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors,” the statement added.

Some Russian state hackers have traditionally been more reckless in their attacks than those linked to most nation states. In 2015 and 2016, hackers working at the behest of the government turned off lights in Ukraine via hacking operations. In 2017, Russian hackers released a potent piece of malware called NotPetya that spread across the world and cost billions worth of damages.

Subscribe to our cybersecurity podcast, CYBER. Subscribe to our new Twitch channel.

Tagged:

Hacking, CYBER, ukraine invasion, russian hackers, Ukraine conflict, worldnews, world conflict

More
like this
Ukraine Arrests ‘Hacker’ It Says Was Routing Calls for Russian Troops
Germany Warns Kaspersky Could Be Used to ‘Attack’ During Ukraine Invasion
Pro-Russia Conti Ransomware Gang Targeted, Internal Chats Leaked
Video: Belarusian Cyber Partisans Explain Why They’re Hacking to Stop Russia
Russian State Media Hacked to Show Casualty Numbers for Russian Soldiers in Ukraine War
Russia’s ‘Infamous Sandworm’ Hackers Tried to Attack Ukraine’s Energy Company
Hackers Provide Livestream of Dozens of Cameras Inside Russia
Why We Haven’t Seen Debilitating Cyberwar in Ukraine