The massive cyberattack on U.S. software company Kaseya, potentially impacting up to 1,500 businesses, is ramping up tensions between Washington and Moscow less than a month after President Biden pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to curb such attacks. 

The crippling ransomware attack from late last week is the latest in a string of incidents linked to Russian-based cyber criminals who are viewed by many as having a green light from Putin to destabilize U.S. companies.

Biden is now under pressure to respond.

“Putin could have put out the word, ‘Back off, don’t do anything until we sort this out with the Americans.’ Clearly, he didn’t do that…I think he’s doubled down on confrontation,” said James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“They are waiting to see if we’ll do anything. It’s actions, not words, that count with the Russians,” he added.

Tensions with Russia over cybersecurity have steadily increased since December, when the U.S. discovered a hack of Texas-based IT group SolarWinds that had allowed Russian government-linked hackers to breach nine federal agencies and 100 private sector groups.

Source – The Hill