United States President Joe Biden held a meeting with executives of companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM this Wednesday (25). In the meeting, he asked companies to cooperate on issues related to cyber security.
“The reality is that most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government cannot meet this challenge alone,” Biden said.
He said, “I have invited all of you here today because you have the power, the capability and the responsibility, I believe, to ban cyber security. So ultimately we have a lot of work to do.”
The meeting was attended by four CEOs of the tech giants: Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple), Andy Jassi (Amazon), Satya Nadella (Microsoft) and Arvind Krishna (IBM).
In addition to “Big Tech,” the White House received executives from business groups, banks, insurance companies, educational organizations, and providers of essential services such as water, gas and electricity.
Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple – Photo: Reuters/Leah Millis
In recent months, several companies have faced attacks that have led to the momentary shutdown of their operations. Some of them reported falling prey to ransomware, a type of virus that blocks access to information on systems and requires payment of a kind of ransom.
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These include Colonial Pipeline, an American pipeline operator, and JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company.
In late 2020, the United States suffered a major attack that affected Microsoft’s e-mail server and SolarWinds’ Orion program. The latter is used to administer and monitor computer networks of large companies and governments.
For the government, the attack highlighted the security relevance of 16 “key infrastructure” in sectors such as energy, defence, industrial production and food.
Some analysts called for tougher sanctions against Russia and other countries from where these hackers may be operating. Other experts advocate better regulation of cryptocurrencies, with hackers demanding as ransom to restore the services attacked.
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