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US to reply with cyber attack if Russian hackers hit Ukraine: Biden

IANS | January 20, 2022 10:58 AM

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has stressed that the country would respond with its own cyber attacks if Russia continues to target Ukrainian government websites.

Last week, Russia-sponsored hackers hit Ukraine with a massive cyber-attack, shutting down several government websites. As a result of the cyber-attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies went down.

In a press briefing late on Wednesday, Biden told reporters that the US would respond with its own cyber-attacks if Russia continues to hit Ukraine's digital infrastructure, reports ZDNet.

"For example, it's one thing to determine that if they (Russia) continue to use cyber efforts, well, we can respond the same way, with cyber, " the US president was quoted as saying.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later confirmed to The Daily Beast that if Russia continued to launch cyber-attacks, they would be answered with a "decisive, reciprocal, and united response."

Ukrainian officials have confirmed that dozens of systems within at least two government agencies were wiped during the cyber-attack.

Russia has repeatedly been accused of cyber-attacks against Ukraine amid escalated tension between them.

Microsoft has also identified evidence of a destructive malware operation targeting multiple organisations -- government, nonprofits organisations and IT firms -- in Ukraine.

According to Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre (MSTIC), this malware first appeared on victim systems in Ukraine on January 13.

"Microsoft is aware of the ongoing geopolitical events in Ukraine and surrounding region and encourages organisations to use the information in this post to proactively protect from any malicious activity, " the company said in a statement.

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