More depth needed to protect against cyberattacks, US Attorney General claims

US Attorney General Merrick Garland has said the country’s private industry needs to enact better safeguards to avoid consequences in the event of a cyberattack.

According to Associated Press, Garland spoke in a wide ranging question-and-answer session with the US media on topics such as cybersecurity, the death penalty and former president Donald Trump.

On the topic of cybersecurity, he said, “You have to have a secondary method if your first method is shut down. You have to have depth, and we need to work with them on that.”

Garland’s words come a week following a meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin which included discussion on a range of Russia-linked ransomware attacks that have occurred in recent months. Biden used the meeting to outline 16 infrastructure areas in the US – including water, healthcare and energy – which were off-limits to cyberattacks in the future.

Attacks such as the Colonial Pipeline hack – a cyberattack that saw the pipelines’ operations brought to a standstill – were described by Garland as ‘extremely dangerous’. The Justice Department responded to the attack by creating a task force focused on tackling ransomware issues.

Elsewhere, US nuclear weapons contractor Sol Oriens recently revealed that it had suffered a ransomware attack. The attack was allegedly at the hands of the REvil ransomware group – a group supposedly with links to Russia.

The US Senate recently confirmed Chris Inglis as the country’s first ever cyber czar for the US government. The new role will see Inglis play a key part in coordinating the government response to major hacks and other cybersecurity threats as well as leading cyber policy and strategy implementation.

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