Kremlin Rejects Biden’s Claim of Looming Russian Cyberattack: We Don’t Conduct State-Level Banditry

Computer surveillanceOn Monday, President Biden talked up the dangers that Russian “cyber capacity” poses to the United States, and warned that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will be likely to use cyberattacks now that western sanctions over Ukraine have meant that his “back is against the wall”.The US can rest assured that it won’t become the victim of Russian cyberattacks, because Moscow does not engage in such activities, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

"The Russian Federation, unlike many western countries, including the United States, does not engage in banditry at the state level," Peskov emphasised, answering a reporter's question about whether there was any circumstance under which Moscow could see using cyber tools aggressively against unfriendly nations.

Peskov’s comments follow remarks made by President Biden on Monday warning that Russian cyberattacks were probably imminent.”The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming,” Biden said, speaking at a business event in Washington, DC on Monday.Citing the “unprecedented economic costs” that the US and its allies have imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, the president suggested that “the more Putin’s back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he may employ,” and that “one of the tools he’s most likely to use in my view, in our view, is cyberattacks.”Situation in UkraineBiden Calls on US Firms to Boost Cyber Defenses Amid Claims of Potential Russian AttackYesterday, 21:31 GMTBiden cited “evolving intelligence” suggesting that Russia was “exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” and called on the private sector, including companies operating critical infrastructure, to “harden your cyber defence immediately.”Biden’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, Anne Neuberger, told reporters later Monday that the US has no actual evidence about any specific cyber threat from Russia, and declined to name which sectors were at risk. However, she did say that “some preparatory activity” by malicious actors was taking place, but did not elaborate.The United States and its allies have spent years accusing Russia of planning or engaging in a broad range of criminal activities online, including the hacking of both commercial organisations and government institutions and even attempts to rig elections. Russian officials have consistently dismissed allegations of involvement in a state-backed cyberwar against the US for lack of concrete evidence, and have criticised America’s decision to turn down Russian proposals for cooperation against cybercrime.While accusing Russia and countries such as Iran, China and North Korea of harbouring malevolent cyber intentions, the Biden administration has remained largely silent on the state-sanctioned cyber crimes of allies such as Israel.This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group which features 'Pegasus' spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. - Private Israeli firm NSO Group has denied media reports its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israel's defence ministry - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.12.2021Israeli ‘Pegasus’ Spyware Used to Hack Phones of 11 US Diplomats – Reports4 December 2021, 01:45 GMT

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