Biden: If U.S. has real shooting war it could be result of cyber attacks
Vice President Joe Biden cautioned on Tuesday that if the US got into a “genuine shooting conflict” with a “big power,” it might be the consequence of a massive cyber assault, underlining what Washington views as increasing threats from Russia and China.
After a series of high-profile assaults on businesses including network management company SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, meat processing giant JBS, and software firm Kaseya, cybersecurity has climbed to the top of the Biden administration’s agenda. In several areas of the United States, the assaults disrupted gasoline and food supply.
“I believe it’s more than likely that if we end up in a war – a real shooting war with a major power – it’ll be as a result of a major cyber breach, and the capabilities are increasing exponentially,” Biden said during a half-hour speech while visiting the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
Biden presented a list of vital infrastructure that the US deems off-limits to nation-state actors at a June 16 meeting in Geneva between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the White House, top members of the Biden administration’s national security staff have been in regular communication with senior Kremlin officials about cyber assaults on the US since then.
Biden also emphasized China’s dangers, describing President Xi Jinping as “deadly serious about becoming the world’s most formidable military force, as well as the world’s biggest and most prominent economy by the mid-40s, the 2040s.”
Biden praised members of the US intelligence agencies, stressed his trust in the job they perform, and said that he would not put political pressure on them during his address to approximately 120 ODNI workers and senior leadership officials. The ODNI is in charge of 17 US intelligence agencies.
“I will never politicize your work. That is something I can assure you of “he said He said, “It’s much too vital for our nation.”
Biden’s remarks contrasted sharply with those made by his predecessor, Donald Trump, who had a tumultuous relationship with intelligence agencies over issues such as the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win, and the intelligence community’s role in revealing that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.
During Trump’s four years in government, he had four different national intelligence chiefs, all of whom were either permanent or acting.
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