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U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin how he would feel if someone carried out a ransomware attack on Russian oil pipelines.
The question was asked during a face-to-face summit on Wednesday, and comes just weeks after a Russian hacker group known as DarkSide attacked one of the United States’ most critical oil pipelines owned by Colonial Pipeline.
That attack, which took the pipeline offline for more than a week, panicked drivers along the southeast U.S. coast and eventually ran over a thousand gas stations dry.
As a result of the attack, Biden proposed a list of 16 critical infrastructure entities that would be off-limits to cyberattacks. Those would trigger a government response if targeted. Some of those 16 are energy-related infrastructure.
In the wake of the attack, the Biden Administration stepped up regulations for critical infrastructure as it pertains to cybersecurity.
Pipeline companies now must report cyber incidents to the Department of Homeland Security, among other things.
In the days following the attack, President Biden promised to raise the matter with Putin at a proposed meeting that was at the time under discussion.
The Biden Administration had in April imposed new sanctions on Russia over cyberattacks, after a Kremlin-linked computer breach infiltrated several U.S. government networks.
At the time, Biden warned Putin that any actions taken against the United States would be met with proportionate repercussions.
Russia has denied any involvement in the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack. President Biden has also said that the Russian government was not behind the attack but that there was evidence that the attackers lived in Russia.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.