Cyberattacks could escalate to ‘Armed conflicts’ suggest U.S. President: Biden administration hints of ‘real shooting war’ with rogue nations engaged in cyberwar

Cyberthreats
Will respond to cyberthreats with actual war? Pic credit: J.M. Eddins Jr./Flickr

The U.S. administration could respond to cyberthreats with armed conflict. The sitting U.S. President, Joe Biden has openly warned that cyberattacks leading to severe security breaches could escalate to a “real hooting war”.

Rogue nations who sponsor and support cyber criminals must be prepared for an actual war with the United States of America, hinted the Biden administration. The President did not seem to mince words while sending across a stern warning to countries that indulge in cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks are no longer a small, manageable digital-only threat:

Cyberattacks and cyberthreats have gone up exponentially in recent years. What’s even more concerning is the fact that these threats have actual, real-world consequences.

The U.S. alone has been actively combating what seems to be an endless wave of attacks on digital infrastructure. These attacks have seriously impacted multiple leading organizations.

What’s even more concerning is that cybercriminals are now increasingly hitting US critical infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline and JBS ransomware attacks are prime examples, but companies such as Apple Inc. Electronic Arts, etc. have been severely affected.

Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger has already warned US businesses to take ransomware seriously. The U.S. administration has launched a dedicated website to educate businesses about cyberthreats.

The U.S. Government has also offered a sizeable monetary reward for reliable information or tips about cyber criminals operating from foreign soil. Interestingly, tipsters can submit information anonymously and receive their rewards in cryptocurrency.

Earlier this month, President Biden reportedly asked Russian President Putin to disrupt ransomware groups operating from Russia’s territory. He added the US will take “any necessary action” required to defend its people and critical infrastructure from these attacks.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said the US would take action against ransomware groups operating within Russia’s borders if “the Russian government cannot or will not.”

State-sponsored threat actors are actual warriors and threats, and the U.S. will deal with them in the real world:

During a speech at the National Counterterrorism Center of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. President Joe Biden said:

“You know, we’ve seen how cyber threats, including ransomware attacks, increasingly are able to cause damage and disruption to the real world.”

“I can’t guarantee this, and you’re as informed as I am, but I think it’s more likely we’re going to end up — well, if we end up in a war, a real shooting war with a major power, it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence.”

Biden has already called out Russia and China as two nations that seem to have threat actors actively operating from their soil. The U.S. President has also cautioned that Russia could be actively involved in 2022 elections disinformation campaigns targeting US citizens.

Incidentally, even NATO has stated that cyberattacks are comparable to “armed attacks” in some circumstances. Hence, it is amply clear that America and its allies are now treating cyber threats and cyberattacks with the same severity as armed confrontations or physical provocations.

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