Biden says ‘no evidence’ Russia involved in US pipeline hack but Putin should act

Biden says ‘no evidence’ Russia involved in US pipeline hack but Putin should act

US, Biden, Russia, US pipeline hack,Putin, pipeline, Harbouchanews

US president said Russia ‘has some responsibility’ to deal with ransomware attacks while pipeline shut since Friday

Joe Biden said on Monday that “so far” there has been no evidence that the cyber attack late last week on a US pipeline had any involvement from the Russian state but that he believes Russia “has some responsibility” to deal with ransomware attacks emanating from its soil.

“It’s a criminal act, obviously. We have efforts under way with the FBI and DoJ to disrupt and prosecute ransomware criminals,” the US president said.

Questioned by the media, after an address at the White House in which Biden condemned attacks on critical infrastructure, about whether he believed Russia was involved in the hack, the US president said he was going to be meeting with Vladimir Putin in due course.

“So far there is no evidence based on, from our intelligence people, that Russia is involved, though there is evidence that the actors, ransomware, is in Russia. They have some responsibility to deal with this,” he said.

The development came as the FBI confirmed on Monday that the ransomware group responsible for the compromise of the pipeline network that supplies petrochemicals to the north-eastern US is DarkSide, an experienced collective of cybercriminals which has hacked scores of companies in the US and Europe.

A senior White House official said the FBI had been tracking DarkSide since at least last October.

Biden gave no details on a date or location for a meeting with the Russian president but the White House has previously indicated he would try to meet with Putin when he travels to Europe next month.

Speaking at a White House briefing earlier, Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber, also declined to offer advice on whether the operator Colonial Pipeline should pay the hackers.

“Typically that is a private-sector decision and the administration has not offered further advice at this time,” Neuberger said. “Given the rise in ransomware, that is one area we are definitely looking at now to say what should be the government’s approach.”

Neuberger said US intelligence was working to determine whether the hackers have ties to the Russian government or other nation states.

The confirmation of the identity of the hackers behind the attack followed a message on social media, apparently from the group, in which it said its goal was to make money rather than to advance geopolitical aims.

As relayed by DarkTracer, an investigative platform, the message said in imperfect English: “We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other our motives.

“Our goal is to make money, and do not creating problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”

the guardian -  continue reading 

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