President Joe Biden said in a statement Monday that the Russian government “is exploring options for potential cyberattacks” due to the recent U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Driving the news: “I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners. It’s part of Russia’s playbook,” Biden said in a statement.

  • He said the warnings were “based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”

What to watch: Biden said in a statement that his administration has urged the private sector to strengthen cyber defenses.

What he said: “You have the power, the capacity, and the responsibility to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of the critical services and technologies on which Americans rely,” Biden said in a statement. “We need everyone to do their part to meet one of the defining threats of our time — your vigilance and urgency today can prevent or mitigate attacks tomorrow.”

Flashback: The Biden administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

  • One sanction included a ban on Russian oil imports, as I reported for the Deseret News.
  • “Russian oil will no longer be accepted at U.S. ports,” Biden said.
  • “We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”

The response: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in early March that the U.S. is currently waging “de facto economic war” due to the sanctions.

  • “The U.S., undoubtedly, declared an economic war against Russia and they are waging this war,” Peskov said at the time.
  • Russia will do “what in the best way corresponds to our interests,” he said, according to USA Today.