U.S. intelligence officials say stopping cyberattacks has become a national security priority, and U.S. President Joe Biden plans to launch attacks when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week next.
The United States has recovered most of the $ 4.4 million in ransom cryptocurrencies paid to the perpetrators of the cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. last month it temporarily halted fuel supplies on the east coast of the United States, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
“Ransomware attacks are always unacceptable, but when they target critical infrastructure we will spare no effort in our response,” Monaco told reporters Monday.
FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said law enforcement identified a virtual wallet used in the ransom payment and then recovered the funds. He said investigators have found more than 90 companies victims of DarkSide, a cybercrime group linked to Russia guilty of piracy.
“Today we turned DarkSide around,” Monaco said, urging companies to invest more to protect their critical infrastructure and intellectual property. “DarkSide and its subsidiaries have been digitally pursuing U.S. companies for most of the past year.”
The ransomware attack in May caused fuel shortages at service stations in several states and even affected the operations of some airlines and airports. It was part of a growing trend of such acts against critical infrastructure that raises an initial test of President Joe Biden’s administration.
Colonial Pipeline ended up paying DarkSide to help restore its operations.
U.S. intelligence and police officials say stopping hacking attacks has become a national security priority and the problem has raised tensions between the United States and Russia. Biden plans to launch piracy attacks when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
The message at the June 16 individual meeting in Geneva will be that “responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals and responsible countries must take decisive action against these ransomware networks,” Psaki said. Putin has denied knowing or being involved in ransomware attacks.
JBS SA, based in Brazil, the world’s largest meat processor, restarted beef production last week after a ransomware attack forced it to stop operations around the world.