White House reviewing ransomware threat, Biden to discuss with Putin

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Russian Prime minister Putin shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Biden during their meeting in Moscow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden is reviewing the threat posed by ransomware attacks and will discuss the issue of harboring such hackers with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month, the White House said on Wednesday.

"The president has launched a rapid strategic review to address the increased threat of ransomware to include four major lines of effort" including disruption of ransomware infrastructure and actors, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Putin and Biden will meet in Geneva on June 16, amid sharp disagreements over election interference, human rights and Ukraine. An hack of Brazilian meatpacker JBS's facilities in the United States, reported this week, is the third such ransomware hack in the country since Biden took office in January.

JBS told the White House this week it originated from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.

"We do expect this to be one of the issues that the President will discuss with President Putin at the summit," said Psaki.

"President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks," she said.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Doina Chiacu and Heather Timmons, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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