Sen. Kennedy calls for retaliatory cyberattack on Russia: ‘Make it even’

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President Biden should order a “serious cyberattack” on Russia in response to hackers targeting hundreds of US companies, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Wednesday night.

“President Biden told Putin to stop the cyberattacks,” Kennedy told Fox News’ “Hannity”. “The cyberattacks have continued. He needs to hit Putin with a serious cyberattack.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they do make it even,” the senator added.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden told reporters that he would personally send a message to Putin after being briefed on the most recent hack, which impacted hundreds of companies worldwide ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend. The ​Russia-based REvil ​cybercrime group has claimed responsibility for the ransomware attack and is demanding to be paid $70 million in bitcoin to return data to the companies.

Biden claimed Tuesday that the intrusion “caused minimal damage to US businesses” and added that the intelligence community was still investigating. On the same day, the Republican National Committee said one of its contractors had been breached, though it did not say by whom and added that no data was accessed.

Accompanying the president on Air Force One to Illinois Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to discuss the potential response to the latest hack attacks, telling reporters: “We’re investigating. We’ll conclude the investigation and make an assessment. In terms of operational considerations, obviously it’s not in our interest to preview those or preview our punches, as I like to say. The president has a range of options should he determine to take action.”

The weekend cyberattack followed intrusions targeting Colonial Pipeline, which stymied the gasoline supply in the southeast U.S. for days, and international meat processing company JBS Foods, which forced the temporary closure of slaughterhouses in Australia, Canada and the United States.

After meeting with Putin last month in Geneva, Switzerland, Biden said he had given the Russian leader a list of 16 infrastructure entities, including water systems and the energy sector, in the US that are off-limits to attack.

“I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capability. And he knows it,” Biden said at the time. Republicans in Congress have since called on the president to take an even tougher line.

In April, the Biden administration announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sanctions against several dozen people and companies over Kremlin interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.

With Post Wires

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