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Intel agency has not yet attributed Kaseya attack: White House

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Jul 07, 2021 - 07:24 AM

LMBC BUSINESS — The White House on Tuesday said the intelligence agency “has not yet attributed the attack” against software vendor Kaseya.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki, in a press conference at James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, said that the government will welcome continued assessment to identify whether the ransomware gang REvil operates outside Russia, as what the cybersecurity community agrees with.

“In this case, you know, their — the intelligence community has not yet attributed the attack.  The cybersecurity community agrees that REvil operates out of Russia with affiliates around the world, so we will continue to allow that assessment to continue,” Psaki told reporters.

President Joe Biden, in his latest meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stressed that the United States will launch measures targeting criminal actors if Russia fails to do so.

Psaki said that expert-level talks have been conducted since the Biden-Putin meeting, with another one happening next week to tackle the ransomware attack.

“As the President made clear to President Putin when they met, if the Russian government cannot or will not take action against criminal actors residing in Russia, we will take action or reserve the right to take action on our own,” she said.

AFP on Tuesday reported that the hackers are asking for $70 million to fix the damage of the attack that affected 1, 500 businesses around the world.

Psaki said the White House keeps its advise to companies not to give in to the hackers’ demands as it can incentivize them to target more victims.

She also said that the attack over the weekend emphasized the need to boost cybersecurity of companies and government agencies.

“And we’ve talked a bit in the past about the importance of private-sector entities hardening their own cybersecurity, putting in place best practices that have been recommended by the federal government for some time,” she said.

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