President Joe Biden emerged from a Situation Room meeting with his top cybersecurity advisers on Wednesday to declare that he “will deliver” a response to President Vladimir Putin of Russia for the wave of ransomware attacks on U.S. companies, after hearing a series of options about how he could disrupt the extortion efforts.
Biden’s vague statement, delivered as he was departing for a trip, left it unclear whether he was planning another verbal warning to Putin — similar to the one he issued three weeks ago during a one-on-one summit in Geneva — or would move ahead with more aggressive options to dismantle the infrastructure used by Russian-language criminal groups.
Each option runs significant risk, because Russia is capable of escalating its own behaviour. And as the ransomware deluge has shown, many companies in the private sector and federal and state government agencies remain rife with vulnerabilities that Russian actors can find and exploit.
After more than three decades in government, Biden seems comparatively less concerned about hacking operations focused on espionage