“We have to give Putin something to think about,” he said. “And while I know people in government like the idea of ’unseen’ cyber operations, we have to show the American people and the private sector that we are doing something about it.”
Mr Putin has denied that many of the attacks originated in Russia, arguing that the United States, with its cyber operations around the globe, is the most active disruptive force on the internet.
But obviously a lot of the ransomware requests come from Russia, and the ransomware code is often written to avoid hitting Russian-speaking targets.
If Moscow wanted to stop Russia’s cybercriminals from hacking American targets, experts say it would. Because of this, some Russia experts argue, the United States must target Russia’s kleptocracy, either by leaking details of Putin’s finances or by freezing the oligarchs’ bank accounts.
“The only language Putin understands is power, and his power is his money,” said Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and Putin critic. “It’s not about tanks; it’s about banks. The US should delete the oligarchs’ accounts one by one until the news is delivered. “
At this time, REvil has shown no signs of reducing operations.
In the past few days, cyber criminals have continued to hijack American corporate networks. On Wednesday, REvil hit a new target: a Florida defense company, HX5, which sells space and weapon launch technology to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and NASA.
REvil posted hacked documents on its naming and shaming website, The Happy Blog. Neither seemed critical, but HX5 is just the newest contractor to hit.