Russia’s should be treated like a “criminal enterprise” by the United States as the nation tries to bolster its cybersecurity in the wake of massive attacks like the Colonial Pipeline breach, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Sunday
In an interview on NBC News’ "Meet The Press," Blunt also urged U.S. businesses to be more forthcoming after hacks like the Colonial breach, for which U.S. officials blamed the Russian ransomware ring, DarkSide.
“You have to treat Russia like virtually a criminal enterprise. They harbor criminals,” Blunt said. “They don't appreciate the rule of law or any kind of level of personal freedom, and I do think we have to push back.”
But Blunt also decried the lack of effort to make responsible nations accountable for cyberattacks.
“When there's no penalty, there's no sanctions, [it’s] hard to find who is doing it,” he said. “Even when you can find where they are, we haven't really effectively sanctioned the countries that are protecting this kind of activity. It has to stop.”
Blunt took sharp aim at U.S. businesses for not coming forward with reports of hacking.
“Nobody wanted to report they had been hacked,” he complained. “That was a fight we've been having now for almost a decade, and the only way you can begin to get on top of this is to know how pervasive the problem is, try to develop a pattern.”
In particular, Blunt said cryptocurrency transfers have to be more transparent and “not allow that to be just behind the scenes in the entire system.”
“We have a lot of cash requirements in our country, but we haven't figured out in the country or in the world how to trace cryptocurrency,” he argued.
“People almost always pay the ransom. There are very few consequences and you can't trace the ransom payment of choice now,” he added. “We've got to do a better job.”
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