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US President Joe Biden has warned that “evolving intelligence” shows Russia is “exploring options” for possible cyberattacks on US targets in response to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.
In a statement on Monday, Biden said he had previously warned that Russia could carry out “malicious cyber activity” against the United States, but suggested the threat became more concrete as the conflict in Ukraine continued.
“I have previously warned of the potential for Russia to conduct malicious cyber activities against the United States, including in response to the unprecedented economic costs we have imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners. part of Russia’s playbook,” Biden said.
“Today, my administration reiterates these intelligence-based warnings that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” he said.
Biden, who is meeting with members of the Business Roundtable, a lobby group for the biggest blue-chip companies, said American companies needed to step up their preparations for such an attack.
“You have the power, the ability, and the responsibility to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of the critical services and technologies that Americans rely on. We need everyone to do their part to tackle one of the defining threats of our time – your vigilance and urgency today can prevent or mitigate attacks tomorrow,” he said.
Anne Neuberger, the National Security Council’s top cybersecurity adviser, said the possible attacks would be directed against “critical infrastructure” in the United States, but there was no certainty Russia would follow through.
They saw “preparatory activity” but no “specific threat,” Neuberger said.
“It’s a call to action, a call to accountability,” she said. It was “the job we need to do to lock down our digital wars and put the country in the best defensive position.”