Biden Promises Consequences For Ransomware Attacks Originating In Russia

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
Font Size:

President Joe Biden vowed Friday that there will be consequences for Russia amid ransomware attacks originating on its soil.

Biden spoke Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ongoing ransomware attacks from “criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world,” according to a readout of the call provided by the White House. Some of these attacks have affected the U.S. greatly, including one that sparked fuel shortages across the Southeast in May.

The president, after delivering remarks and signing an executive order dedicated to pushing competition within the U.S. economy, was pressed about his call with Putin. When asked if there will be consequences, Biden responded with a resounding “yes.”

Biden also said he he made it “very clear” to Putin that he expects him “to act on” these ransomware attacks originating in Russia. The president didn’t elaborate on what these consequences will look like.


“I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is,” Biden said. “And secondly, we’ve set up a means of communication now on a regular basis to be able to communicate with one another when each of us thinks something is happening in another country that affects the home country. And so it went well. I’m optimistic.”

Biden brought up consequences during his in-person Geneva meeting with the Russian president in June. After that meeting, Biden explained that Putin “knows there are consequences” regarding the cyberattacks.

Still, the attacks have continued, most recently hitting hundreds of U.S. companies. This attack, Biden said July 6, caused “minimal damage.” (RELATED: Hacker Gang Demands Largest Ransom Ever In Latest Attack)