Cyber Attacks || Joe Biden Calls On Vladimir Putin To Crack Down On Hackers

US President Joe Biden has called on Russia's head of state Vladimir Putin to crack down on hacker groups in his own country. The background to this is an accumulation of attacks with so-called ransomware in the USA and other countries in the past few months. In a phone call with Putin, Biden underlined the need for Russia to take action against the groups responsible, the White House said.

Read more: Russian Hackers || The Attack Continue

"The US will take whatever action is necessary to defend its people and critical infrastructure in the face of this ongoing challenge," it said. Biden's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US government had no "additional or new information that the Russian government had ordered these attacks." But the Kremlin has "the responsibility to act".

The USA in particular has repeatedly been the target of large-scale hacker attacks with extortion Trojans, for which Russian actors are held responsible. In May, for example, a hacker attack temporarily paralyzed the important US oil pipeline Colonial. Later it hit the US subsidiary of the world's largest meat company JBS, and at the beginning of July hundreds of customers of the US IT company Kaseya. Companies in Germany were also affected.

Biden and Putin had already discussed the subject at a meeting in Geneva in mid-June. Putin rejects allegations of Russian responsibility for the attacks. The attackers are based in Russia or the former Soviet republics.

When attacking with ransomware, hackers lock or encrypt the computer systems of their victims and demand a ransom for the release of the data . According to cybersecurity experts, many of the attackers are based in Russia or the former Soviet republics.

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In mid-June, a high-ranking representative of the US Department of Justice said that although such "ransomware activities" were not carried out by Russian officials, they were "tolerated" by the government in Moscow. The Russian government is also "actively standing in the way of efforts by US security agencies to combat this type of hacking."

Hacker group demands $ 70 million ransom

The group of hackers who attacked hundreds of companies with blackmail software over the weekend is demanding $ 70 million for a master key to all affected computers. The amount should be paid in the digital currency Bitcoin, the group called REvil posted on their blog.

The hacking group used a vulnerability at the American IT service provider Kaseya to attack its customers with a program that encrypts data and demands a ransom. The consequences could be felt as far as Sweden, where the supermarket chain Coop had to close almost all stores because registers no longer worked. An IT service provider and several of its customers were also affected in Germany . There are several thousand computers in several companies, said a spokesman for the Federal Office for Information Technology. REvil claims it infected more than a million computers in total.

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The extent of the damage has not yet been assessed from an independent source. The IT security company Huntress spoke of more than 1,000 companies in which systems were encrypted. Kaseya reported that fewer than 40 of its 36,000 customers were affected. However, there were also service providers who in turn have several customers.

The REvil group is located in Russia by experts. A few weeks ago she attacked the world's largest meat company JBS with ransomware. The company had to close plants for several days. JBS fulfilled the hackers' demands and paid the attackers the equivalent of eleven million dollars in cryptocurrencies.

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