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Authorities say the US and its allies are ready to avenge Russian cyberattacks

WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. and European officials said on Tuesday that the United States and its allies were ready to respond to Russian cyber attacks, amid rising tensions over Ukraine, and that sanctions would be imposed depending on the severity of the retaliation or the hack. .

Hours after US President Joe Biden announced that his Defense Department and two banks had been hacked, Washington told reporters that Washington was working closely with NATO allies and other partners to expand security against threats in cyberspace. to know more

The attacks, believed to have been carried out by Western security experts by Russia, were not unexpected and US and European officials requested anonymity.

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The Russian Federal Security Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The president said we will respond to Russian action without military intervention,” a US official said. But what is determined depends on the scale of the cyber attack. There are many limitations and it is difficult to go into specifics.”

A European diplomat said cyber attacks have been a long-standing component of Russian strategy and have been used by Moscow in past military conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine.

“This is part of their playbook,” the official said, stressing the Western decision to use coordinated measures to hold Moscow accountable for cyberattacks and other “misconduct”.

Sources say that in the event of Russian forces invading Ukraine, US, European and Canadian authorities would have imposed global sanctions, although there is no detailed plan on how to respond to the cyber attacks. to know more

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Officials said this could take some time to determine who is responsible, especially in the case of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. DDOS attacks work by launching Internet traffic from multiple sources against a server or other target.

More aggressive and damaging attacks will give a tougher response. A European official said some countries, including France, generally prefer to avoid publicly blaming cyberattacks.

According to an IT expert familiar with Western planning, this response could result in actions other than sanctions, including physical or cyber attacks on the respective servers.

Two officials said several Russians responsible for past cyberattacks have appeared on the ban, but more could be added.

Negotiations between US and European officials in recent weeks have focused more on adjusting sanctions in the event of a physical invasion, rather than outlining the list of options for cyber attacks. European official.

“There are no detailed maps of what to do in the event of a cyber attack,” said a European ambassador. “It depends on the details of the case.”

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Andrea Shalal reports. Editing by Mary Milligan and Rosalba O’Brien

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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