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Previous story Biden's decision: How hard to punch back at Putin's hackers Next story

STORY BY MARTIN MATISHAK

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The U.S. could 'turn the power off in Moscow,' one former U.S. official said. White House says Biden's call with Russia's Putin was to stress consequences of activities
Published on April 14, 2021 11:51 AM

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Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, in 2012. | AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Joe Biden promised in December that he would "not stand idly by" after Russia's latest massive cyberattack on the U.S.

Well over 100 days later, his administration has yet to make it clear how hard it plans to punch back.

The U.S. has employed a range of punishments for Moscow's digital intrusions in the past, including levelling sanctions on Russia's two leading intelligence services, shuttering consulates, indicting alleged hackers and ejecting suspected spies — only to learn in December that Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime had unleashed one of its most audacious hacking assaults yet against at least nine federal agencies and roughly 100 private companies.

The Biden administration is preparing a new round of penalties that it could announce as soon as this week, according to a person familiar with the internal deliberations, who requested anonymity to disclose sensitive discussions. The steps could include imposing sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies and a new round of ejections of Russian diplomats, the person said.