Joe Biden concludes press conference at The White House
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The US President had a private meeting with top executives to address the “root causes” of cyberattacks. He is said to have urged the tech moguls to help fight threats from the likes of Russia and China that could bring the country to its knees. The White House has announced that companies including Amazon, Google and Apple have committed to investing billions of dollars to strengthen cybersecurity defences and to train skilled workers.
The Biden administration has been urging the private sector to do more to protect against increasingly sophisticated attacks.
In public remarks before the meeting, Mr Biden referred to cybersecurity as a “core national security challenge” for the US.
He added: “The reality is most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone.
“I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”
Joe Biden made a plea to Google and Amazon (Image: GETTY)
Technology leaders were present at the White Houseq (Image: GETTY)
Google has committed to invest $10billion (£7.28billion) in cybersecurity over the next five years, money aimed at helping secure the software supply chain and expand zero-trust programmes.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said it would invest $20billion (£14.55billion(in cybersecurity over the next five years and make available $150million (£109million) in technical services to help local governments upgrade their defences.
IBM plans to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years.
And Apple said it would develop a new program to help strengthen the technology supply chain.
Mr Biden is said to have raised concerns (Image: GETTY)
The meeting took place as Biden’s national security team has been consumed by the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and the chaotic scenes as the Taliban takeover.
That it still took place is said to indicate the administration regards cybersecurity as a major agenda item, with the administration official describing Wednesday’s meeting as a “call to action”.
Mr Biden also said that during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June he made clear his expectation that Russia take steps to rein in ransomware gangs because “they know where (the hackers) are and who they are.”
Moscow has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
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There have been a number of cyberattacks on the US (Image: GETTY)
Mr Putin has reportedly been warned already (Image: GETTY)
But it comes after Mr Biden warned that a major cyberattack on the US could lead to an actual “shooting war,” in comments that mentioned Russia and China as the main threats.
He said last month: “I think it’s more than likely we’re going to end up, if we end up in a war – a real shooting war with a major power – it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence.
“And it’s increasing exponentially, the capabilities.”
Mr Biden claimed a growing number of cyberattacks against government agencies and private industry have been linked to Russia and China.