US will finally strike back against Russia for hacking American government agencies
US President Joe Biden raised numerous worries about Russia in a phone call with President Vladimir Putin JIM WATSON, Alexander NEMENOV AFP/File

President Joe Biden intends to strike back against Russia for their cyberattack on the United States government, the New York Times reported. It might be the start of something with China as well.

According to the report, the response against Russia will take place in the next three weeks as the U.S. aims to "impose a steeper penalty on rivals who regularly exploit vulnerabilities in government and corporate defenses to spy, steal information and potentially damage critical components of the nation's infrastructure," the Times said.

It's the first move against Russia in years as former President Donald Trump was never capable of holding Russia accountable.

"The issue has taken on added urgency at the White House, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies in recent days after the public exposure of a major breach in Microsoft email systems used by small businesses, local governments and, by some accounts, key military contractors," the report explained.

In that case, Microsoft identified China as the intruder in the system, but the Pentagon and national intelligence agencies have not done so publicly.

"The White House is undertaking a whole of government response to assess and address the impact" of the Microsoft hack, a statement from the White House said.

It's possible that if state-sponsored hackers in China are concluded to be behind the attack on Microsoft, Biden could also act against China.

"I actually believe that a set of measures that are understood by the Russians, but may not be visible to the broader world, are actually likely to be the most effective measures in terms of clarifying what the United States believes are in bounds and out of bounds, and what we are prepared to do in response," said Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser.

Read the full report at the New York Times.