Five months after that President BidenJoe BidenThe Democrats in the House of Representatives postpone the vote on the social spending plan to Friday Fauci says all adults should be “pumped up” Senate confirms valet service director after years as acting director MORE met with the Russian President Wladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin: West doesn’t take “red lines” seriously enough COP26 was an exit – that’s why it is not rated Can America Avoid a Cold War of Global Warming? MORE and urged him to take a stand against ransomware attacks from his country, lawmakers are annoyed by what they see as the lack of results in the government’s efforts to confront Russia.

Their concern has increased in recent weeks when they heard mixed news from key federal leaders whether ransomware attacks attributed to Russia-based hackers have decreased since the two leaders met, reflecting the Biden government’s extensive efforts to target Strengthening the country’s cybersecurity undermined.

“If the United States knew that criminal actors were coming from our soil and attacking another country, we would act, and I see no evidence that Russia is actually helping us in that regard,” said Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinBiden, top officials spread out to promote the infrastructure package Conservative group targeting House Democrats for SALT positions Hoyer: Vote on the 0.75-ton spending package is expected to be Thursday or Friday MORE (D-Mich.), Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Committee, said at a hearing on Wednesday.

Biden, in his face-to-face meeting with Putin in Geneva earlier this year, placed cybersecurity concerns at the center of his agenda and presented the Russian leader with a list of 16 types of critical infrastructures in the US that could not be attacked without risking retaliation. Biden then warned that the US would take further steps if action was not taken, and private talks between US and Russian officials have continued since that meeting.

“I pointed out to him that we had considerable cyber skills, and he knows it. He doesn’t exactly know what it is, but it matters, ”Biden told reporters following the meeting. “If they violate these basic norms, we will react.”

Contributing to the legislature’s concerns are statements from high-ranking officials who have drawn slightly contradicting images of the state of the ransomware attacks over the past few weeks.

“We’ve seen a noticeable decline,” said National Cyber ​​Director Chris Inglis earlier this month before the House Homeland Security Committee on Russian ransomware attacks, warning, “It’s too early to say whether this is due to the material efforts the Russian lies or the Russian leadership. ”

But the day after Inglis testified, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said The Associated Press that “we have not seen any material change in the landscape”.

“From the FBI’s point of view, we haven’t seen a decrease in ransomware attacks from Russia in the past few months,” said Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s cyber department, to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Tuesday. “Please understand that we have incomplete data. In the best case scenario, we only see around 20 percent of the break-ins in the country.”

The lack of data is increasingly not well received by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as concerns about cyber threats have grown over the past year following ransomware attacks on groups like Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS USA, as well as city governments, schools and hospitals. Both the Colonial Pipeline and JBS USA attacks have been linked to cyber criminals likely based in Russia.

These concerns were at the center of two House hearings on ransomware attacks this week that upset federal officials.

During an irritable exchange between Slotkin and Robert Silvers, the undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Slotkin Silvers repeatedly pushed for metrics to attack. Silvers testified that he could not give a “final assessment”, largely due to a lack of transparency in the private sector.

“I am very concerned about whether or not we are actually able to hold people accountable in Russia,” noted MP August Pfluger (R-Texas) after a similar exchange with Silvers. “We want to see, hear and understand the specifics of these cases and how this effect advances to prevent our business.”

Some lawmakers suggested going further and taking more aggressive action against Russia.

“Of course, Putin can stop these operations in a day if he wanted,” said Rep. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiGroup aligns with House GOP leadership and targets nine Democrats to cast votes Democrats at odds over SALT changes Israel says blacklisted NSO group “has nothing to do with government policy” MORE (DN.J.) said at the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday. “Honestly, although we don’t talk about it that much in public, I think we have to use an offensive, not just a defensive, skill here.”

“At what point is this a declaration of war, a declaration we can’t stand,” said Rep. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanGOP seeks a hearing with Kerry on overseeing climate diplomacy House Freedom Caucus elects MP Scott Perry as new chair GOP Rep. Clyde brings in up to .500 mask fines MORE (RS.C.) asked during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing the previous day, adding that “they are shooting into us”.

Ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoGOP senators appalled at “ridiculous” house battles House of Representatives votes to reprimand Gosar and dismiss him from committees Trump puts McConnell an offensive ultimatum on Biden’s agenda MORE (RN.Y.) was even more blunt.

“Russia and China are not deterred when it comes to cyber issues, this is due to the weak reaction of this government,” Katko told The Hill on Wednesday. “You have to have a strong reaction in cyber, the bad guys know nothing but strength, and if you don’t project strength, you have problems.”

But government officials this week insisted that the government not only made tackling cybersecurity threats a priority, but took a number of steps to inflict political pain on Russia, and continue to urge local leaders to back up take action against hackers in the scenes.

“We’ve been pretty straight with the Russian government, but we don’t sit around waiting for the Russian government to act,” Silvers testified. “We have announced that if they do not take action against those who take these measures from their territory, we will take these measures, and we are, and these have been announced in the past few months and some have not been announced.”

“One of the keys here is making ransomware criminals feel paranoid, scared, not to trust their fellow human beings, and that is exactly what we do to disturb them,” he added.

In addition to meeting Putin, Biden signed an executive order to strengthen federal and White House cybersecurity in May convened leader from around 30 countries last month to discuss ways to fight ransomware attacks on a global basis.

Additionally, the Justice Department and the Treasury Department have issued indictments and sanctions against cyber criminals in Russia and neighboring states, and Biden sanctioned Russia in retaliation for the SolarWinds hack.

“When I met with President Putin in June, I made it clear that the United States would take steps to hold cybercriminals accountable,” Biden said in a statement last month after the Justice Department charged hackers with the Ransomware attack on the Kaseya IT group. “We did that today.”

Silvers and other officials argued this week that data is not available as there are no regulations requiring critical organizations to report cybersecurity incidents. legislation doing so is likely to come into effect under this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

“It’s hard to judge because the vast majority of ransomware incidents are not reported to the government,” said Silvers, stressing that the legislation “would give us the data we need to make these kinds of assessments that.” You expect in your supervision ”. . ”

But in the meantime, legislators are keen to make more concrete progress.

“It’s one thing to say we’re taking action and showing strength, it’s another thing to actually have the data to support it,” Slotkin said.


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