US President Joe Biden says he is looking at possible retaliation after the White House linked Russia to a cyber attack against global meat processing giant JBS.
- The FBI attributed the attack on JBS to cybercriminals with ties to Russia
- US President Joe Biden said he will raise his concerns with Russia to Vladimir Putin when they meet this month
- The Kremlin has said it will be open to any request from the US to help investigate the cyber attack
The statement comes as the President prepares to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Geneva later this month.
The ransomware attack on a US subsidiary of Brazilian-owned JBS has again prompted accusations that Russia is at least harbouring cybercriminals.
Similar suspicions were raised after ransomware hackers forced the temporary shutdown of the huge Colonial fuel pipeline in the eastern United States last month.
Asked by a reporter if he would take action against Mr Putin, the US President said “we’re looking closely at that issue”.
Mr Biden also denied the suggestion he was being tested by the Russian President ahead of their meeting.
On Wednesday, the FBI attributed the attack to “REvil and Sodinokibi”, which experts have said are two names for the same hacking group with ties to Russia.
The FBI said it was “working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice”.
“We continue to focus our efforts on imposing risk and consequences and holding the responsible cyber actors accountable,” a statement read.
The White House said Mr Biden will raise US concerns during the summit on June 16, as well as at earlier summits with allies in the G7, the European Union and NATO.
“We expect this to be an issue of discussion throughout the President’s trip,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
“Harbouring criminal entities that are intending to do harm, that are doing harm to the critical infrastructure in the United States, is not acceptable.
“We’re not going to stand by that. We will raise that and we’re not going to take options off the table.”
The White House has not blamed the Kremlin directly, only suggesting that criminal groups are operating from inside Russia.
But Ms Psaki said “responsible states do not harbour” cybercriminals.
“President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks. Hence, it will be a topic of discussion when they meet,” she said.
Russia said it would be open to any US request for help in investigating the cyber attack.
JBS is a sprawling meat supplier with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK.
The company said the vast majority of its beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants would be operating “at near full capacity” on Thursday.
JBS said in a statement it, “is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised”.