The U.S. government will increase its efforts to combat cyberattacks against hackers, President Biden said in an interview with U.S. media on Sunday (June 6), and is considering “all options, including military strikes.
The Biden administration is reviewing “all options” to protect the U.S. from extortion by cyber criminals, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a media interview. Raimondo did not elaborate on the specifics of the options, but she admitted that the issue will be a topic of discussion at a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 16th of this month. The Biden administration has also hardened its stance against Russia as a result of the recent intensification of attacks and extortion by hackers and cybercriminals against the United States, as the U.S. believes that some of the hackers and cybercriminals who have carried out cyberattacks and extortion against the United States are being sheltered by Russia.
In early May, the Colonial Pipeline, which is responsible for fuel delivery along the East Coast of the United States, was attacked and extorted by hackers, forcing the shutdown of the 8,851-mile pipeline and leaving many gas stations without fuel, forcing a state of emergency in 18 East Coast states. At the end of May, the U.S. subsidiary of JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, was also attacked by hackers and ransomware, and some of the services supporting the information technology systems in North America and Australia were hit, forcing some JBS meat processing plants in the U.S. and Australia to suspend operations.
In an interview, Raimondo said, “As we consider the possible impacts, consequences and retaliation, we’re not eliminating anything from the options.”
On the same day, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a media interview that hostile forces in the United States have the ability to “carry out thousands of attacks on the U.S. energy industry,” even shutting down the entire U.S. power grid system.
Granholm warned U.S. companies to be vigilant and report cyber attacks to the federal government immediately, and never pay ransom to criminals. The aforementioned Clonier Pipeline Company reportedly paid a ransom of $4.4 million to the hackers before they allowed the oil transmission system to resume operations.
“You should never pay a ransom for a cyberattack,” Granholm stressed, “because doing so will only allow the bad guys to continue to do evil.” But Granholm also said that while she opposes paying ransoms to hackers, she is not sure that President Biden or Congress would be willing to pass legislation to prohibit ransom payments.
In an interview, Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee and a senior Democrat, also called for greater transparency in the reporting of cyber attacks by U.S. companies, and for the establishment of international norms in this area. Warner argued that Congress should debate whether legislation should be enacted to ban ransom payments to hackers.
FBI Director Christopher Ray, who has been a member of the FBI for more than a decade, said that he would like to see the FBI’s efforts to combat cyber attacks. Christopher Ray (Christopher Ray) has recently said that the severity of the hacker attack on the United States has some similarities to the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks that killed 2,977 innocent people.