U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that, in a conversation with Vladimir Putin, he issued a warning about ransomware attacks on U.S. companies made by entities based in Russia.
According to the New York Times,
“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 was quoted as saying by the Times.
Subsequent comments from Biden indicate that U.S. officials are weighing direct responses to ransomware attacks beyond what has been done previously, including the partial recovery of BTC paid to ransomware attackers.
When asked about whether there would be “consequences” for such attacks, Biden reportedly said “yes.”
The comments come just over a week after the U.S. government began investigating a ransomware attack on an American information technology firm, which subsequently affected a range of businesses worldwide.
U.S. officials have adopted a more serious stance on ransomware attacks amid a series of high-profile ransomware incidents, including one on a U.S.-based pipeline operator. In early June, the Department of Justice said it had recovered much of the funds paid by Colonial Pipeline.