Lawmakers are growing increasingly concerned about what they view as a lack of results from the Biden administration’s moves to confront Russia over ransomware attacks, The Hill is reporting.
Their concerns come about five months after President Joe Biden urged Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to "take action" against ransomware groups operating in Russia.
U.S. lawmakers have become more anxious about the results after hearing mixed messages from federal officials about whether the ransomware attacks have decreased since Biden and Putin talked, according to The Hill.
"If the United States knew that criminal actors were emanating from our soil and attacking another country, we would act, and I don’t see any evidence that Russia is actually helping us on this score," said Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism panel.
Biden and Putin had met in Geneva in July. Following that meeting the White House issued a statement saying Biden "spoke with President Putin about the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world."
"President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge."
But since then, there are conflicting views about whether the talks between Biden and Putin over the attacks have achieved any results, The Hill noted.
"We have seen a discernible decrease," National Cyber Director Chris Inglis testified about the attacks to the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this month. But he pointed out: "It's’s too soon to tell whether that is because of the material efforts undertaken by the Russians or the Russian leadership."
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told The Associated Press in early November: "We have not seen a material change in the landscape. Only time will tell as to what Russia may do on this front."
Meanwhile, lawmakers are growing frustrated.
"I am very concerned about whether or not we are actually able to hold people accountable inside Russia," Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, said.
And Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said: "At what point is this a declaration of war? A declaration that we cannot put up with?"
He added, "they are shooting their way into us."
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