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US Secretly Removed Russian Malware From Computer Networks

Source: Sutthichai Supapornpasupad / Getty

President Joe Biden is adamant about keeping the United States out of another war, but he isn’t letting Vladimir Putin just do whatever he wants either.

Wednesday (Apr.6), the United States announced it secretly removed malware from computer networks worldwide to preempt Russian cyberattacks. At the same time, it put the Russian president on notice. Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed the United States was making the moves publicly after U.S. officials warned there could be attacks on critical American infrastructure by Russia.

Per the New York Times:

The malware enabled the Russians to create “botnets” — networks of private computers that are infected with malicious software and controlled by the G.R.U., the intelligence arm of the Russian military. But it is unclear what the malware was intended to do since it could be used for everything from surveillance to destructive attacks.

An American official said on Wednesday that the United States did not want to wait to find out. Armed with secret court orders in the United States and the help of governments around the world, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. disconnected the networks from the G.R.U.’s own controllers.

“Fortunately, we were able to disrupt this botnet before it could be used,” Mr. Garland said.

The court orders allowed the F.B.I. to go into domestic corporate networks and remove the malware, sometimes without the company’s knowledge.

President Biden has been very vocal against Vladimir Putin and his unjust invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, he has been very clear that he will not involve the military or institute a no-fly zone out of fears it could trigger World War III. But, this latest move shows he is not afraid to engage in cyber warfare, where many believe most wars will occur.

Now we just need Uncle Joe to get Brittney Griner home.

Photo: Sutthichai Supapornpasupad / Getty