President Joe Biden plans to press Russian President Vladimir Putin on recent hacking attacks against the U.S. that have originated from Russia-based hacking groups, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Wednesday.
Biden will raise the issue during his meeting with Putin following the G7 summit later in June, Psaki said. The U.S. has named a number of hacking groups based in Russia as responsible for ransomware attacks against Colonial Pipeline and JBS, the world’s largest meat producer. Psaki declined to say whether Russia has offered any assistance in tracking down the hacking groups. (RELATED: Biden’s Intel Chief Releases 2020 Election Report Confirming Russian And Iranian Interference)
“Is it President Biden’s view that President Putin can stop these attacks, these hacks, from occurring if he wanted to?” a reporter asked.
“President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks,” Psaki said.
“Is the administration really considering any actions in addition [Biden’s meeting with Putin], to make sure this doesn’t happen — sanctions or any other actions that are perhaps on the table?” a reporter asked.
“We’re not taking options off of the table,” Psaki responded. “There will be an opportunity for the president to discuss this directly with President Putin to reiterate the fact that we believe responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”
Psaki said that while the administration is pressuring Russia to take action, the U.S. is also conducting its own review.
The U.S. offered assistance Monday to JBS following reports of the ransomware attack.
JBS produces one-fourth of the United States’ beef and one-fifth of the country’s pork, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Sao Paulo, Brazil-based company sold more than $50 billion in meat products in 2020, according to MarketScreener.
“The White House has offered assistance to JBS” after the meat processing company was targeted by hackers, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says. JBS told the WH they received a ransom demand from a criminal organization “likely based in Russia.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 1, 2021
The U.S. has named the hacking group REvil as responsible for the JBS attack, which came weeks after the hacking group DarkSide hit Colonial Pipeline.
Biden will meet with Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.