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White House warns Russia could start targeting U.S. companies with cyberattacks

The Biden administration warned on Monday that "evolving" intelligence indicates Russia could soon start targeting U.S. businesses with cyberattacks.

"This is a critical moment to accelerate our work to improve domestic cybersecurity and bolster our national resilience," President Biden said in a statement. "I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we've imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners." Biden explained he is reiterating that warning due to "evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks."

The White House is urging U.S. companies to "harden your cyber defenses immediately by implementing the best practices we have developed together over the last year," Biden said, including mandating the use of multi-factor authentication, backing up and encrypting data, and educating workers about phishing and other hacker tactics.

Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, told reporters on Monday that the Russian government is "exploring options for potential cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in the United States. The president has said the United States is not seeking confrontation with Russia, but he has also said that if Russia conducts disruptive cyberattacks against critical infrastructure, we will be prepared to respond."