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White House Warns of Russian Cyber Attacks

'The magnitude of Russia's cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it's coming,' said Biden

On Monday, President Biden issued a critical warning to American business leaders, telling them to immediately strengthen their companies’ cyber defenses.

While speaking at the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting in Washington, the President said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to use cyber attacks in retaliation against the United States in response to the sanctions placed on Russia.

Biden said, “The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it’s coming.”

The President went on to say that “one of the tools [Putin’s] most likely to use, in my view — in our view — is cyber attacks. They have a very sophisticated cyber capability.”

Biden told business leaders that his administration felt the national interest was at stake. He said it is “a patriotic obligation that you invest as much as you can in making sure —and we will help in any way — that you have built up your technological capacity to deal with cyber attacks.”

During the White House briefing on Monday, the administration addressed the issues with reporters. White House deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, Anne Neuberger, told reporters, “To be clear, there is no certainty there will be a cyber incident on critical infrastructure … this is a call to action and a call to responsibility for all of us.”

She said security preparations could include scanning websites or looking for vulnerabilities, but she did not specify details regarding the White House’s concerns. However, Neuberger said that officials had detected a “potential shift in intention” on the part of Russia. 

The White House distributed a fact sheet for corporations to prepare. They have advised companies to require multi-factor authentication, patch their systems, prepare response plans, back up data, encrypt data, and take other steps to secure information and strengthen security to protect against cyber threats.

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