Russia’s last chance? – In recent months, we have witnessed an upsurge in computer attacks in the form of ransomware. These block the computer systems of target companies and only unlock them after receiving a ransom, usually in bitcoin (BTC). The majority of the virulent operators in recent months are based in Russia
. Thus, President Joe Biden has just warned Vladimir Putin to dismantle these networks.
Towards a cyber cold war?
The United States and Russia have been clashing for several years in the field of cyber espionage and computer attacks. In 2016, the Sluzhba vneshney razvedki Rossiyskoy Federatsii
(SVR RF), the Russian foreign intelligence agency, had hacked into the accounts of senior Democratic officials of the Democratic National Committee. This affair led to the publication of compromising emails, notably involving Hilary Clinton, then a candidate for the presidency of the country.
Some senior U.S. politicians go so far as to consider that this attack cost Clinton the election. This is why Donald Trump and his campaign managers were accused of manipulating the election with the support of foreign forces. However, the involvement of the Trump clan in this case was never proven.
Subsequently, the SVR had also infiltrated the SolarWind
security system, used by 70% of US federal agencies. As a result of this breach, the Russian services were able to read the conversations of all these agencies for several months, until the breach was revealed.
These days, ransomware attacks are not only targeting government agencies and politicians, but also companies. Last month, the Russian hacker group DarkSide crippled the East Coast by attacking the operator of the largest U.S. oil pipeline, Colonial Pipeline
. In May, REvil, another Russian ransomware group, also extorted $11 million from the top U.S. meat producer after halting production for several days. <img src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20427%20225’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=’Logo of Kaseya, the victim of the largest REvil attack that impacted thousands of businesses in July 2021″ width=”427″ height=”225″ /><img src=”https://yellowrocketagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/image-60.png” alt=’Logo of Kaseya, the victim of the largest REvil attack impacting thousands of businesses in July 2021″ width=”427″ height=”225″ />Logo of Kaseya, the victim of the largest REvil attack impacting
attack of July 4th was on a different level. Instead of directly targeting a traditional entity, REvil penetrated a company that holds high-level access to technology companies that serve thousands of other businesses. Had the Kaseya
Final warning for Putin and Russia
Biden is under increasing pressure to take action to stem costly hacks that threaten critical US infrastructure. After weeks of generic warnings and diplomatic maneuvering, Biden issued a strong warning
. In his Friday, July 9 phone call, President Biden said:
“I made it very clear to him that the United States expects, when a ransomware operation originates on its soil, even if it’s not state-sponsored, that they will act if we give them enough information about who that person is.”
Biden’s ultimatum was triggered by a sophisticated ransomware attack over the weekend by the REvil group, which authorities say operates with impunity from Russia.
If the hacks don’t stop, the U.S. is considering responding with cyberattacks on the servers used by the Russian thugs. The heightened tensions associated with the ransomware attacks underscore the complexity of a new kind of conflict between the United States and Russia
, in which the well-established rules and agreements of the Cold War no longer apply.
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