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'Ransomware attacks': Biden presses Putin for strict action against hackers, signals retaliation

Washington: Pushing the war of words forward, US President Joe Biden increased pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday to act against ransomware groups operating in Russia.

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'Ransomware attacks': Biden presses Putin for strict action against hackers, signals retaliation
'Ransomware attacks': Biden presses Putin for strict action against hackers, signals retaliation

The US presidnt warned that the United States is prepared to respond if cyber-hacks are not stopped.

The two leaders held their first phone call since they discussed ransomware attacks at a summit in Geneva on June 16. Biden's message to Putin in the call was direct, suggesting a growing impatience over attacks that have disrupted key U.S. sectors.

"I made it very clear to him that the United States expects, when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it's not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is," Biden told reporters.

He said the two governments have now set up a means of communications on a regular basis "when each of us thinks something is happening in another country that affects the home country."

"And so it went well. I'm optimistic," he said.

The United States has not indicated how it plans to respond to the attacks emanating from Russia. Biden, asked if there would be consequences to Russian inaction, said: "Yes."

"We’re not going to telegraph what those actions will be precisely – some of them will be manifest and visible, some of them may not be – but we expect those to take place, you know, in the days and weeks ahead," a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

Ransomware is a breed of malicious software that hackers use to hold data hostage in exchange for payment. It has become an increasingly powerful scourge for businesses across the world. Cybercriminals have used it to paralyze thousands of American organizations, setting off a series of increasingly high-profile crises.

Many of the gangs carrying out the ransomware attacks are alleged by American officials and cybersecurity researchers to be operating out of Russia with the awareness, if not the approval, of the government there.

Biden hinted at digital retaliation if Russian cooperation was not forthcoming, responding "yes" when asked by a Reuters reporter whether it would make sense to attack the Russian servers used in such intrusions.

Moscow and Washington disagreed over whether the United States had formally sought Russian assistance to rein in ransomware attacks.

A Kremlin statement said Putin noted to Biden that Russia "had not received any requests from the relevant U.S. departments in the last month despite the readiness of the Russian side to jointly stop crime in the sphere of information."

The senior Biden administration official disputed this statement, telling reporters in a conference call that multiple requests had been made by the United States to Russia through normal diplomatic channels.

Internet crime has bedeviled U.S.-Russian relations since the 1990s, when American cyber experts first began complaining of spam emails from Russia. But the disruptive power of ransomware has taken the issue to a new level.

In May cybercriminals alleged to be operating from Russia froze the operations of critical fuel transport group Colonial Pipeline (COLPI.UL), setting off gasoline shortages, price spikes and panic buying on the US East Coast.

The following month a different Russia-linked group struck meatpacker JBS, briefly disrupting its food supply chain.

The same hackers claimed responsibility for a mass ransomware outbreak centered on Florida IT firm Kaseya last week.

SOURCE: REUTERS

 

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 3 months.

Pakistan

‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 5.45%.

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‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), Pakistan conducted a total of 57,792 tests in the last 24 hours.

Around 3,153 cases of coronavirus were reported while 58 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,720.

As per the command centre, total confirmed cases are 1,204,520 whereas 5,370 are under critical care.

Punjab              

The number of patients swelled to 413,182 in the province with 12,211 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 444,464 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,133.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 168,258 in the province with 5,250 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,569 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,268 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 718. On the other hand, there are 10,162 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,617 cases in the capital city while 887 people have lost their lives.

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Sports

Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

Lahore: Veteran cricketer and former Test captain-turned commentator Rameez Raja has emerged as the next chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.

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Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

To elect the 36th PCB Chairman, a special meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) took place today, (September 13) at the High Performance in Lahore.

The PCB Election Commissioner, Mr Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed conducted the election, presiding over the meeting.

The members of the BoG including Mr Aasim Wajid Jawad, Ms Alia Zafar, Mr Asad Ali Khan, Mr Arif Saeed, Mr Javed Kurieshi, Mr Ramiz Raja and Mr Wasim Khan attended the special meeting.

At 1415 inside the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, NHPC, the newly-elected PCB Chairman will hold his media conference, which will be live-streamed on all PCB social media channels.

As per the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, which are designed to ensure health and wellbeing of all involved, only reporters and correspondents who are fully vaccinated and have immunisation certificates are invited to attend the media conference.

Moreover, TV news channels will be welcome to use PCB’s broadcast quality live-stream details of which will be shared shortly before the start of the media conference.

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Pakistan

'COVID fourth wave': Pakistan reports 3,689 cases, 83 deaths

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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'COVID fourth wave': Pakistan reports 3,689 cases, 83 deaths

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,689 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,580.

The total number of cases has reached 1,197,887.

As many as 1,079,867 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,383 critical cases.

Punjab                

The number of patients swelled to 410,463 in the province with 12,171 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 442,401 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,089.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 167,154 in the province with 5,200 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,517 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,131 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 715. On the other hand, there are 10,127 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,094 cases in the capital city while 884 people have lost their lives.

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