President Joe Biden is reportedly hosting a meeting on Wednesday (i.e. 25 August 2021) with tech CEOs to discuss how companies are ensuring cybersecurity after recent waves of ransomware attacks and security breaches.
According to Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be attending the meeting on Wednesday. Other companies including Google, IBM, JP Morgan, Chase have also been invited to the meeting.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella plan to attend a White House meeting with President Joe Biden this week to discuss cybersecurity https://t.co/EG6vnmIXmv
— Bloomberg (@business) August 24, 2021
While it is not clear what Presiden Biden wants to discuss with the CEOs, however, considering the recent wave of cybersecurity attacks, this meeting is long overdue.
Recent Major CyberSecurity Incidents in the US
The cybersecurity meeting follows massive ransomware attacks across various sectors in the US and around the world. Here are some recent cybersecurity attacks that have possibly led to Presiden Biden setting up a meeting to address these issues:
Kaseya Ransomware Attack
The most recent cyberattack was in July 2021, when a Russian-speaking gang, REvil attacked Kaseya – a US tech provider firm. REvil targeted Kesaya’s system and made a ransomware demand of 70 million dollars.
As a result, a Swedish grocery store chain had to shut down almost 800 stores worldwide for several days. This was one of the largest ransomware attacks in history. In the end, the company had to shut down its VSA servers.
JBS SA Cyberattack
In May 2021, REvil targeted a Brazilian meat processing company, JBS, disabling all its slaughterhouses. JBS had to pay an $11 million ransom in Bitcoin to REvil.
DC Police Ransomware Attack
A notorious gang, known as Babuk Locker Gang attacked DC Police and stole around 250 GB of data. They asked the DC Police to pay $4 million in ransom to prevent data from leaking online.
After the DC Police refused to meet the gang’s requirement, they turned towards individual victims and demanded 0.006 bitcoin ($32,000) to get their data back.
In April 2021, REvil targeted Apple and stole information and blueprints of the upcoming Apple products. The gang demanded $50 million for information.
Darkside Attack on Colonial Pipeline
In May 2021, a ransomware gang, Darkside, attacked the Colonial Pipeline that crippled the entire fuel delivery system across the United States. The pipeline that supplies gas to about half of the East Coast, went down for several days, causing panic among buyers, and price increase in some states.
The company had to pay around 75 bitcoins to the attackers.
President Biden takes action against Russian cybercrime gangs
After the attack on Kaseya, Biden called Russian President Putin and said that he needs to “take action” now. Biden further stated:
“I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is.”
Cybersecurity attacks keep rising as the US companies seem to be the main focus of cybercrime gangs. This meeting brings hope to tech companies as in the past whenever the US government intervened, the threat agents always backed down.
Even some cybersecurity experts believe the US government to have played a huge role in the disappearances of major cybersecurity gangs like DarkSide and REvil. We will have to wait till Wednesday to see how the situation unfolds.