The U.S. general who leads the country’s efforts to frustrate foreign-based cyberattacks, and punish the culprits, reveals he’s executing a “surge” to fight invasions that have incapacitated government agencies and companies responsible for vital infrastructure.

In an interview, Gen. Paul Nakasone said the government experts were more focused on better finding and sharing information about cyberattacks by divulging the means by which those attacks were conducted.

Nakasone said: “Even six months ago, we probably would have said, ‘Ransomware, that’s criminal activity. But if it has an impact on a nation, like we’ve seen, then it becomes a national security issue. If it’s a national security issue, then certainly we’re going to surge toward it.”

A destructive upsurge of cyberattacks has affected key government records and at times led to the closure of the operations of energy companies, hospitals and schools. The SolarWinds spying campaign revealed the emails of 80pc of the email accounts used by the U.S. attorneys’ offices in New York and numerous other departments.

President Joe Biden directly pushed Russian President Vladimir Putin in July to take action against threat actors, telling reporters, “We expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is.”

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said there was no clue yet that Russia had acted to take firm action on ransomware.

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