Biden Gave Putin a List of Entities “Off Limits” to Cyberattacks

"P20210410CS-1368" (United States government work) by The White House

On Wednesday, Biden told reporters that he handed to Russian President Vladimir Putin a critical infrastructure list that should be a no-go from Russian cyberattacks. 

The list of 16 critical infrastructures includes entities such as commercial facilities, defense, dams, energy, emergency, financial services, food, government, IT, manufacturing, transportation, and water.

Biden also added that they still have to find out whether they have a cybersecurity agreement that will help bring some order. Putin, however, denied any involvement in the recent cyberattacks against major U.S. industries. 

Biden said he asked the Russian President how he’d feel if ransomware hackers attack pipelines from their old fields. According to Biden, Putin answered “it would matter,” adding that it is not just about self-interest. 

Biden declined to say if military action is being considered against Russia

Biden declined to say whether military action is being considered if Russia is found to be responsible for the recent cyberattacks. 

ABC News reporter, Cecilia Vega, asked Biden a crucial question. The question entailed whether a military response is an option for the Biden administration due to the ransomware attack.

Biden answered in the negative. He also added that they didn’t talk about military responses. 

During the press conference, Biden also mentioned that he did not make any threats against Biden. Rather, he made “simple assertions.”

According to reports, the two leaders talked about the current tensions between the U.S. and Russia. Included among the causes of these tensions are the cyberattacks allegedly from Russian criminal groups and human rights issues. 

Biden said months after the summit will be the test of its effectiveness

Earlier in the press conference, Biden mentioned that the next few months after the summit will be a “test” on how effective it was. 

Biden said that they have to look back three to six months from now and ask themselves if the things they planned worked. He added that this will be the test. Biden also stressed that both U.S. and Russia each should act accordingly against cybercriminals within their territory.

“Russian President Putin Speaks During a Bilateral Meeting With Secretary Kerry Focused on Syria and Ukraine in Moscow” ( United States government work) by U.S. Department of State

Putin also conducted his own press conference after the meeting. In the press conference, the Russian leader cited American sources, saying that a “majority” of the cyberattacks in the world come from the United States. 

An IT security firm research note last month stated that a number of organizations affected by cyberattacks surged to up to 102% compared to the previous year. Accordingly, the IT security firm also mentioned that they see “no sign of slowing down.”

In a few weeks, two major U.S. interests were affected by cyberattacks. Included among them were Colonial Pipeline and JBS Holdings. The attacks resulted in the company paying ransom money worth millions to regain control of the system.