Biden warns that cyberattacks could lead to a “real gun war”

Men in suits and uniforms sit at one side of a long, curved table.
Enlarge / US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo attend a plenary session of a NATO summit at the headquarters of the Atlantic Treaty Organization North (NATO) in Brussels, on June 14, 2021.

President Joe Biden warned that cyberattacks could escalate into a full-blown war as tensions with Russia and China rise over a series of hacking incidents targeting US government agencies, businesses and infrastructure.

Biden said Tuesday that cyber threats, including ransomware attacks “They are increasingly capable of causing damage and disruption in the real world.”

“If we end up in a war, a true gunshot war with a great power, it will be the consequence of a cyber breach,” the president said in a speech at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees 18 US intelligence agencies. .

Several recent attacks revealed the extent of the US cyber vulnerability, ranging from extensive espionage breaches that have affected the heart of government ransomware attacks that have brought operations to a significant oil pipeline Y meat packing plants stop.

The Biden administration has accused the governments of Russia and China, or hackers based in the two countries, of some of the attacks. US officials warned that the administration would respond with a “combination of visible tools and invisible actions,” but cyber breaches have continued.

Although he did not say against whom such a war could be waged, Biden immediately verified the name of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, claiming that Russia was spread misinformation before the 2022 midterm elections in the US.

“It is a pure violation of our sovereignty,” he said.

“Mr. Putin … has a real problem. He’s sitting at the top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else. Nothing else,” Biden said. makes it even more dangerous. “

At a June summit in Geneva, Biden personally warned Putin that the United States would “respond with cyber” if the Russian state or Russia-based hackers attacked critical US infrastructure.

The prohibited sectors encompassed energy, healthcare, IT, and commercial facilities, all of which have reportedly already been targeted by Russian hackers since the 2020 US elections. Others included transportation, financial services, and chemicals.

Biden also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping was “very serious” about China becoming the more powerful military force in the world by the 2040s, as well as the largest and most prominent economy.

“It’s real … This kid has a plan,” Biden said, adding, “We better figure out how we’re going to keep up without exacerbating [the situation]. “

Biden emphasized that cyberattacks were just one aspect of the growing threats facing the United States, and said there would be more developments in the next 10 years than in the last 50, placing a huge burden on the intelligence community.

“It’s really going to get more difficult,” he said.

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