We’re learning new details about the Russian cyber gang suspected of shutting down a major meat processor this week and staging other attacks in the recent past. There’s also a debate tonight about whether private businesses or the government are most responsible for failing to do enough to prevent them. National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports tonight from the Pentagon. Good evening, Jennifer.
Good evening, Brett. The Department of Justice sent guidance to U.S. attorney’s offices across the country today, elevating investigations of ransomware attacks to the same priority as fighting terrorism. These investigations will now be centrally coordinated with a new task force in Washington.
U.S. law enforcement says the Russian linked cyber gang, known as are evil, is responsible for the hack on GB’s. The group made its presence felt in 2020, releasing two-point four gigabytes of Lady Gaga as legal documents. In April, it carried out a ransomware attack on an Apple supplier demanding fifty million dollars. Today, the White House tried to shift the blame to the private sector.
Business leaders have a responsibility to strengthen their cyber defenses to protect the American public and our economy.
Deputy national security adviser and Neuberger issued a memo outlining how companies can protect themselves from what are usually simple spearfishing emails. Quote, There are immediate steps you can take to protect yourself as well as your customers and the broader economy. The nation’s top cyber experts say the U.S. government has not done enough to deter these attacks.
These are criminal groups operating independently, seeking to make money, but they’re given sanctuary and protection by the Russian state. We’re only seeing the ones that make it into the public eye. There are hundreds, if not thousands of these attacks every year.
GB’s said it’s on schedule to resume production at all of their meat-packing facilities today. It’s not clear if the company paid a ransom. Colonial Pipeline recently paid a four-point four million dollar ransom to another group of Russian cybercriminals. James Lewis says the last two administrations and the current one have been too cautious in their response.
That’s part of why the Russians think, why should I stop making a lot of money and the Americans are going to do what we need to make a move. Putin just isn’t afraid of us, and that’s what the president has to change.
Lewis says the timing of the latest cyber attacks so close to the summit between President Biden and Putin is surprising. Historically, he said, there’s been a cease-fire in the weeks leading up to meetings like this.
Today, Russia announced it is ditching the US dollar as part of its sovereign wealth fund, knowing the Biden administration could impose new sanctions. The Justice Department sees two Internet domains this week used in spearfishing attacks that mimicked email communications from USAID at the State Department.