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Biden warns Russia ‘exploring’ cyberattack on US infrastructure

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Mar 22, 2022 - 03:42 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Russia is “exploring options” to carry out a cyber-attack on critical US infrastructure in retaliation for western and allied sanctions, President Joe Biden warned on Monday.

Biden said there is “evolving intelligence” that suggests the Kremlin is actively plotting potential attacks, and urged US firms – many of whom own and operate US infrastructure – to remain vigilant.

“You have the power, the capacity, and the responsibility to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of the critical services and technologies on which Americans rely,” Biden told the private sector.

“We need everyone to do their part to meet one of the defining threats of our time – your vigilance and urgency today can prevent or mitigate attacks tomorrow,” he added.

Anne Neuberger, Biden’s deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, told reporters at the White House that the administration has detected “preparatory activity” for a cyber-attack which has been shared in a classified context with private companies.

That includes efforts to scan websites and hunt for vulnerabilities, she said.

Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has been roundly denounced by the international community, and has been met with biting Western and allied sanctions and export controls. The economic fallout has been exacerbated by an exodus of global firms fleeing Russia.

At least 925 civilians have been killed during the war, and 1,496 have been injured, according to the UN’s tally. The international body warns, however, that the true casualty toll is “considerably higher.”

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