Washington, Jul 9 (EFE).- President Joe Biden told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation on Friday that Moscow must crack down on cyber criminals in Russia who launch ransomware attacks on firms and institutions in the United States, the White House said.
“President Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt ransomware groups operating in Russia,” the White House press office said in a statement.
Biden also “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,” the statement said.
The two heads of state spoke for an hour, the White House said.
Hundreds of US firms were affected last weekend by a hack of software and IT security provider Kaseya. The attack has been attributed to a group known as REvil that is thought to operate from Russian territory.
Biden indicated later Friday that there would be unspecified “consequences” for the ransomware attacks.
“I made it very clear to him (Putin) that the United States expects, when ransomware operation is coming from his soil – even though it’s not, not sponsored by the state – we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is,” Biden told reporters who asked about the conversation at the end of a White House event.
The call “went well, and I’m optimistic,” the US president said.
Putin and Biden, according to the Kremlin, “stressed the need for substantive and constructive cooperation in the field of cyber-security and the continuation of relevant contacts.”
At the same time, Moscow said that Washington has not offered any specifics about the attacks or the alleged perpetrators.
“Despite the readiness of the Russian side to jointly suppress criminal manifestations in the information space, no appeals on these issues have been received from the competent US agencies over the past month,” the Kremlin said.
The two presidents agreed to work together on the issue during their summit last month in Geneva.