FBI Director Chris Wray Compares Rising Ransomware Attacks To 9/11 ‘Challenges’

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FBI Director Chris Wray compared the national security implications of the ransomware attacks to the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying both affect every American.

“There’s a lot of parallels, there’s a lot of interest and a lot of attention from us for disruption and prevention,” Wray said. The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “There is a shared responsibility not only among government agencies, but also in the private sector and even in the average American.”

Wray’s comments come on the heels of a Reuters report that the Justice Department is elevating research into ransomware attacks to a similar priority to terrorism.

There has been a string of high-profile hits: Tuesday was against JBS USA, part of the world’s largest meat processing company; last month Colonial Pipeline paid the nearly $5 million ransom after hackers shut down the gas pipeline; and last year’s Solar Winds hack, which is believed to have compromised multiple agencies of the US government.

As a result of the attacks, both gas and meat prices have risen.

Wray said that served as a wake-up call for Americans.

“Now that we realize it can affect them when they buy gas at the pump or buy a hamburger, I think there’s now a growing awareness of how much we are all together in this battle,” he said.

FBI Director Chris Wray compared the national security implications of the ransomware attacks to the September 11 terrorist attacks

FBI Director Chris Wray compared the national security implications of the ransomware attacks to the September 11 terrorist attacks

Wray told The Wall Street Journal that the effects of both the September 11 terrorist attack and the ransomware attacks hit Americans every day.

Wray told The Wall Street Journal that the effects of both the September 11 terrorist attack and the ransomware attacks hit Americans every day.

The FBI director also revealed that his agency was investigating about 100 different variants of ransomware as attacks as both the US government and private companies struggle to cope with the cyber-attacks.

“The magnitude of this problem is one that I think the country needs to come to terms with,” he said.

Wray pointed out Russia as a country harboring people who use ransomware and called on that government to do something about it.

‘Time and time again, a large part of it was traced back to actors in Russia. And so, if the Russian government wants to show that it takes this issue seriously, there’s a lot of room for them to show real progress that we’re not seeing right now,” he said.

President Joe Biden has vowed to bring up the ransomware attacks when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month.

There has been a series of high-profile cyber attacks, including those against JBS USA, part of the world's largest meat processing company

There has been a series of high-profile cyber attacks, including those against JBS USA, part of the world’s largest meat processing company

Cyber ​​attacks on JBS and the Colonial Pipeline caused a spike in meat and gas prices, which FBI Director Chris Wray said served as a wake-up call for Americans.

Cyber ​​attacks on JBS and the Colonial Pipeline caused a spike in meat and gas prices, which FBI Director Chris Wray said served as a wake-up call for Americans.

Biden took a tough stance on Putin ahead of their meeting. And on Wednesday, he did not rule out reprisals against the Russians for a series of cyber attacks against American companies.

“We’re looking closely at that issue,” Biden said when asked if he would retaliate over the latest ransomware attack.

But he dismissed concerns that he was being tested by his Russian counterpart.

“No,” he said when asked if he thought Putin was testing him.

The two leaders will meet on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland for their first meeting amid mounting tensions between the two nations.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that cyberattacks against US companies, believed to have been carried out by hackers in Russia but not in cooperation with that administration, will be on the summit’s agenda.

“President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government have a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks, so the topic will be discussed when they meet in two weeks,” she said.

The agenda fills up quickly. Also likely to be discussed: Russian interference in US elections; Moscow’s aggressive stance towards Ukraine and Alexei Navalny’s treatment of dissent.

President Joe Biden

Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Joe Biden did not rule out retaliation against Russian President Vladimir Putin for a series of cyber attacks on US companies op

“We’re not taking anything off the table in terms of how we can respond,” Psaki said without going into details.

“I will say that this attack is a reminder of the importance for private sector entities of hardening their cybersecurity and making sure they take the necessary steps to prepare for this threat, which we actually have in the past week. increase,” she said.

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