The Russian government has denied any involvement in ransomware, which may be technically true, but many global leaders are calling for countries to do more to stop criminals who may be operating within their borders. Indeed, FBI Director Christopher Wray compared the ransomware challenge to 9/11 and called for a coordinated fight across society.
In his first foreign trip since being sworn into office, President Joe Biden is in Europe this week to meet with global leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. There are numerous important aspects to this story and lots of advice on how Biden should handle the situation. But one closely watched aspect to this story includes what can be said, and done, to curtail cyber crime and stop accelerating ransomware attacks?
The response to that post on LinkedIn was immense, with Mark Wallace from Data by Design LLC saying, “If the Russians can look you in the eye and deny any involvement with multiple Novichok (a chemical warfare agent developed, and solely possessed, by the Russian Army) poisonings, I’m pretty sure they can deflect any attempts to blame them for hacking. There’s no ‘smoking gun.’ The fact that some software modules of Russian origin were used in the ransomware hacks doesn’t come within a million miles of showing that the Russian Government, or its agents, took part. The modules are available to anyone on the Dark Web.”
My response to Mark (and views on this upcoming summit) were: “Well said, good points and understood. And yet, as in so many situations with adversaries involving espionage over decades, there are always 2+ sets of deals. One for public consumption and another behind the scenes.
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