21:04 GMT30 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) According to the White House, US President Joe Biden highlighted the need for Moscow to take action in a bid to disrupt ransomware groups allegedly operating in Russia. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any role in the latest cyberattacks against the United States.

    US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent telephone call discussed the ongoing ransomware attack in the United States and the UN Syrian aid mechanism extension that was adopted earlier in the day, the White House said on 9 July.

    "The leaders commended the joint work of their respective teams following the U.S.-Russia Summit that led to the unanimous renewal of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria today in the UN Security Council," the White House said in a press release. "President Biden also spoke with President Putin about the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world," the White House said. 

    Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to crack down on cyber criminal groups operating in Russia, the release said.

    The US president told Putin the United States will take action to defend its critical infrastructure from cyberattacks if necessary, the release said.

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki earlier told reporters that the US government has been in touch with the Russian authorities regarding the latest ransomware attack and has said that if the Russians do not act against those who are responsible, the US will.

    Psaki noted that although the intelligence community has not yet determined who is responsible for the attack today, the cybersecurity community is convinced that the criminal group involved in the cyberattack is in Russia and has affiliates around the world.

    Russia's ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg aired on Wednesday that the US and Russia will conduct another round of talks about cybersecurity next week.

    The remarks come after a slew of cyberattacks against the US government and private companies, including the Microsoft Exchange and SolarWinds hacks, as well as ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS Foods. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in cyber activity targeted against the United States.

    One of the most recent reports concern the alleged breach of the Republican National Committee's (RNC) computer systems by "Russian government hackers". The Russian embassy in the US vehemently denied the report.

    US, Russia, ransomware, cyberattack
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