Biden Warns of Incoming Russian Cyberattacks Against the US

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

President Joe Biden on Monday warned of Russian cyberattacks against the US — making his most prominent alert yet about what he called new intelligence regarding the Putin regime’s plans.

“The more Putin’s back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he may employ … one of the tools he’s most likely to use in my view, in our view, is cyberattacks,” Biden said on Monday. “The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” he continued.

Biden had earlier issued a statement on Monday saying that the administration is emphasizing earlier warnings, “based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”

Past US intelligence warnings about the timing and approach of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were largely accurate. Biden urged companies to “harden your cyber defenses immediately.”

Neuberger’s Warning

Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, warned that the Russian government was targeting critical US infrastructure but did not mention any specific plans for attacks. She described Biden’s warning on Monday as a “call to action and a call to responsibility” to guard against attacks.

“Today we are reiterating these warnings, and we are doing so based on evolving threat intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in the United States,” Neuberger told reporters at the White House.

Neuberger cautioned that, “To be clear, there is no intelligence that there will be a cyberattack on critical infrastructure.”

Neuberger noted that federal agencies gathered over 100 US companies to share information on the new intelligence around potential Russian cyberattacks. She said the government gave companies tools to strengthen cybersecurity and security advisories on what the government is seeing.

“There is no evidence of any specific cyberattack that we’re anticipating,” Neuberger said. “There is some preparatory activity that we’re seeing, and that is what we shared in a classified context with companies that we thought might be affected.”

“You’ve seen the administration continuously lean forward and share even fragmentary pieces of information that we have to ensure maximum preparedness by the private sector,” she said. “So as soon as we learned about that, last week we hosted classified briefings with companies and sectors we felt would be most affected and provided very practical, focused advice.”

The White House released a fact sheet on Monday prior to Neuberger’s comments describing ways that US companies can defend themselves against cyberattacks, including mandating the use of multifactor authentication and encrypting data.

Biden said his administration will “continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure.” He told members of the Business Roundtable, whom he was addressing on Monday evening, that improving cybersecurity was their “patriotic obligation.”

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.