US intel says Russia 'exploring options' for cyberattacks - Biden

US President Joe Biden revealed "evolving intelligence" on potential cyberattacks by the Russian government.

 A Russian flag is seen on the laptop screen in front of a computer screen on which cyber code is displayed, in this illustration picture taken March 2, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
A Russian flag is seen on the laptop screen in front of a computer screen on which cyber code is displayed, in this illustration picture taken March 2, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

The Russian government is "exploring options" for carrying out cyberattacks against the United States, President Joe Biden said on Monday as he urged to strengthen America's cybersecurity.

In a White House statement, the US president revealed "evolving intelligence" on potential cyberattacks by the Russian government, reiterating his previous warnings.

"I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States," Biden said, adding that an attack on the US' cyberinfrastructures could come as a response to economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

"It is part of Russia’s playbook," Biden said.

"Today, my administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks," the statement read.

US President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin amid Western fears that Moscow plans to attack Ukraine, during a secure video call from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, US, December 7, 2021. (credit: The White House/Handout via REUTERS)US President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin amid Western fears that Moscow plans to attack Ukraine, during a secure video call from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, US, December 7, 2021. (credit: The White House/Handout via REUTERS)

The president called on the American private cyber sector to harden their security defenses "immediately," as "the federal government cannot defend against this threat alone."

He added that "vigilance and urgency today can prevent or mitigate attacks tomorrow." Last month, it was reported that US banks are preparing for cyberattacks as a Russian retaliation to the raft of stringent sanctions by Western nations.

Russia has used cyber warfare as a means of retaliation and aggression for years, cyber security expert Menny Barzilay told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month. "The troops on the ground only started invading Ukraine [in February], but the Russian forces invaded Ukraine in cyberspace years ago."