Biden orders investigation after ransomware attack on American IT firm

A ransomware attack at the end of last week has sparked a federal investigation, according to comments from U.S. president Joe Biden.

Biden remarked on the ordered investigation during a public appearance on Friday. Reuters reported Friday that hackers exploited the systems of a Florida-based IT firm to hit a number of businesses worldwide with ransomware. Among the affected firms was a Swedish supermarket chain, according to the BBC, forcing the closure of hundreds of stores. 

Biden said that officials "were not certain" as to the original source of the attack, per reports of his remarks.

“The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government but we’re not sure yet,” he was quoted as saying.

Officials in the White House and beyond have spent the past month or more signaling a more serious stance on ransomware attacks, including a stated push for increased analysis of cryptocurrency networks to trace payments. 

In early June, federal officials revealed that they had recovered some of the funds paid out following an attack on the U.S.-based energy firm Colonial Pipeline. Colonial had paid out 75 BTC following an attack a month earlier.