At yesterday’s Geneva Summit, US President Joe Biden threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with cyber counter forces should the Russian President refuse to halt Russia’s cyber-attacks on the US.
“President Joe Biden delivered the biggest cyber bombshell ever in US foreign policy,” said Washington national security analyst Rebecca Grant in an opinion piece published on the FOX News website.
According to Ms Grant, America’s cyber strategy for the past few years involved preparation while remaining undercover. Still, Biden has now drawn a red line using these cyber strategies as a threat.
“He knows it. He doesn’t know exactly, but it’s significant. If they violate basic norms, we will respond in cyber. He knows,” Mr Biden told reporters.
Ms Grant breaks down the summit discussion into four key points:
1. America’s critical infrastructure, which is the energy grid, water supply and a total of sixteen entities, is off-limits. The entities cannot be specified as the critical infrastructure list is classified.
2. The US will take action against hackers working for Russia who attacked government agencies, gas pipelines, meat-packing plants and others in the past months.
3. The Trump administration deserves credit for bolstering America’s cyber capabilities. In 2018, the Trump administration began issuing guidance for the US Cyber Command to gather essential insights on the enemy and develop a proper response strategy.
4. If Mr Putin refuses to halt Russian hacking and ransomware cyber-attacks, the US can interfere with Russia’s oil export pipelines through ransomware. Mineral fuels and oil make up almost half of Russia’s exports. The nation also exports nearly as much oil as Saudi Arabia.
Mr Biden said Russia has three to six months to act.
“It’s gonna be real easy,” he said.
Since hackers disguise their attacks through various global computer networks, it is hard to prove the recent cyberattacks in the US were under Putin’s command. However, if the cyber-attacks continue, Putin is putting the economic future of his country at risk.
Putin’s top general Valery Gerasimov was also in attendance at the summit to hear Mr Biden’s cyber threats. Mr Gerasimov has been involved in Russia’s interference with Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Belarus, and other smaller nations.
“Team Biden used the Geneva meeting to rip the mask off Putin’s shadowy cyber war. Now they must be ready to back up words with deeds, in cyberspace and beyond. . . And China will be watching,” Ms Grant concluded.
Mr Biden also confused Mr Putin with US President Donald Trump following the summit.
“I caught part of President, uh, Tru– uh, Putin’s press conference, and he talked about the need for us to have some kind of modus operandi where the Arctic was, in fact, a free zone,” Mr Biden told reporters.