“I need to be very clear: In our thoughts, this isn’t associated to what’s taking place with Russia and Ukraine,” the official added.
The DarkSide hacking group, one other ransomware gang suspected of being based mostly in Russia, was linked to the assault on Colonial Pipeline. The assault, and an ensuing panic amongst customers, led to fuel shortages in a number of U.S. states amid a short lived shutdown of the pipeline.
The arrests adopted months of negotiations between the Biden administration and Russian officers across the ransomware assault and different cybersecurity considerations, and the FSB stated Friday that its actions have been tied to “the enchantment of competent U.S. authorities.” These efforts included a gathering between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin final yr in Geneva and comply with up conversations by telephone.
The arrests came about the identical day hackers defaced and disabled dozens of Ukrainian authorities web sites, with specialists suspecting Russia to be behind the assault.
The administration official confused that whereas the arrests have been “welcome,” they drew a transparent line in the sand between the administration’s view of the actions in Russia and the Ukrainian web site defacements.
The people arrested will stay in Russia, moderately than being extradited to the USA. The administration shall be watching subsequent steps there carefully, the senior official stated.
“Our expectation is that Russia introduced arrests and that Russia can be pursuing authorized motion inside its personal justice methods,” the official stated, including that it’s “our expectation that they be delivered to justice.”