Biden, Putin Brace for Possible Fight Over Ransomware | Voice of America

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WASHINGTON – As President Joe Biden prepares for his first meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, the White House says the threat of ransomware will be a “significant topic” of conversation between the two leaders.

Until just a couple of years ago, ransomware was viewed largely as a financial crime, hardly an issue that would dominate the first face-to-face meeting between the Russian and American leaders.

But the issue was catapulted to the forefront of geopolitics last month after cybercriminals believed to be operating in Russia breached the networks of a major U.S. pipeline operator and a meat processor, demanding and receiving millions of dollars in ransom.

Although U.S. officials have not accused the Russian government of direct involvement in the latest attacks, some lawmakers say Russia-based cybercriminals often work with the knowledge, if not the complicity, of the Kremlin. They are demanding that Biden deliver a…

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