Biden: If U.S. has 'real shooting war' it could be result of cyber attacks
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden warned Tuesday that if the United States gets into a "real gun war" with a "great power" it could be the result of a major cyberattack on the country, highlighting what Washington viewed as growing threats from Russia and China.
Cybersecurity is high on the Biden administration's agenda after a number of high-profile attacks targeting companies like network management company SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, meat processing company JBS and software company Kaseya hacked US companies well beyond its borders. Some of the attacks targeted fuel and food supplies in parts of the United States.
"I think it is more than likely that if we get into a war - a real gun war with a great power - it will be the result of a major cyber-breach and it will grow exponentially." , the skills, "said Biden during a half-hour speech while visiting the office of the Director of the National Intelligence Service (ODNI).
During a summit meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Biden shared a list of critical infrastructures that the US considers closed to nation-state actors.
Since then, senior members of the Biden government's national security team have been in constant contact with senior members of the Kremlin over cyberattacks on the United States, the White House said.
Biden also highlighted the threats facing China, describing President Xi Jinping as “dead serious about becoming the world's strongest military power and the world's largest and most prominent economy by the mid-1940s and 2040s. "
During his speech to around 120 ODNI staff and senior leaders, Biden also thanked members of US intelligence services, emphasized his confidence in their work, and said he would not put any political pressure on them. The ODNI monitors 17 US intelligence agencies.
“I will never politicize your work. You have my word on that, ”he said. "It's too important to our country," he said.
Biden's remarks differed significantly from those of his predecessor Donald Trump, who had a contentious relationship with intelligence services, for example because of his assessment that Russia interfered to help Trump win the 2016 election and his role in the revelation that Trump defended Ukraine pressured me to investigate Biden.
During his four-year tenure, Trump went through four permanent or acting directors of the national intelligence service.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Grant McCool)
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