Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on Tuesday urged President Biden to use his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to strongly push back against recent Russia-linked cyberattacks.

Biden is slated to meet with Putin in Switzerland on Wednesday in the first in-person meeting between the leaders since Biden took office, and White House officials have said cybersecurity concerns are on the agenda.

It will also be the first meeting between Biden and Putin since the discovery of the SolarWinds hack in December, which U.S. intelligence agencies assessed was likely carried out by Russian government-backed hackers.

Nine federal agencies and around 100 private sector groups were compromised by the hack, which was ongoing for most of 2020. Biden announced a sweeping set of sanctions against Russia earlier this year in retaliation.

“We can’t afford another incident like SolarWinds,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted Tuesday. “It’s my hope that in tomorrow’s meeting, @POTUS brings up December’s cyberattack and makes clear that any exploitation of compromised networks to produce harmful effects will prompt an appropriate and proportional response.”