U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring foreign hackers, including those in Russia, in order to conduct a counter cyber operation against them in case of an order from the White House, reported the NBC News channel, citing informed sources.
President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly intends to view ransomware hacking as a national security threat and a major source of damage to the nation’s economy. “This is the sickest and hottest issue (of the U.S. administration) right now,” said a former U.S. official.
According to the channel, U.S. intelligence agencies began monitoring hacker groups in other countries in the summer of 2019 – before Biden came to power. Sources say that the information thus accumulated will help the U.S. to launch a counterstrike in case the president orders it.
At the same time, in legal circles, such operations are regarded as ambiguous. In addition, a very likely development is that Russia will retaliate in the case of U.S. cyber attacks against facilities on its territory.
Earlier, Biden said that he was “carefully studying” the issue of possible retaliatory measures against Russia due to accusations of recent cyber attacks. The latest such incident was an infiltration of the system of the world’s largest meat producer JBS. According to media reports, the REvil hacker group, some members of which are allegedly based in Russia, may be involved in the attack.