If Russia fails to act against actors responsible for ransomware attacks conducted from its territory, then the US will, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured. She declined to go into detail regarding how Washington is planning to act against the hackers.
The press secretary also shared that the US intelligence community is continuing to assess information on the latest ransomware attack by the REvil group, which affected up to 1,500 businesses around the world, but had only a minor impact on American ones, according to President Joe Biden. Psaki said that US agencies are specifically looking into whether the attack happened with the knowledge or "approval" of the Kremlin, but stressed that so far they can't attribute the attack to anyone but REvil themselves.
She noted, however, that US intelligence agencies have no doubts that the hacker group operates from Russia, using affiliates around the world. Psaki added that in light of this, the Biden administration has been asking Moscow via high-level channels to act against the hacker group.
The REvil hacker group operates based on the ransomware as a service model – meaning that it does not directly engage in cyberattacks, but instead provides its clients with the tools to attack certain targets and offers its services in negotiating ransoms with the victims.
Joe Biden raised the issue of countering cyberattacks, including ransomware ones, during his joint summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two presidents agreed to cooperate in the cybersecurity sphere. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently shared that the US has still not meaningfully responded to a single one of Moscow's proposal on the issue.