by Oleg Burunov On Tuesday, the US media claimed that a hacker group, allegedly linked to the Russian government, breached the Republican National Committee during the Keseya attack. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has refuted reports about Moscow being linked to the “hacking” of Republican Party servers, saying that the US continues to make up tall tales about Russia-related cyberattacks. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he referred to “many in the US who don’t want any normalisation of relations” between Moscow and Washington. “Therefore, all sorts of fables are invented, and all kinds of groundless stories are told. Although no reasons for the appearance of such stories exist, all this continues”, Ryabkov added. According to him, because the authors of such materials “lack imagination”, they “have to” use “recyclable materials” in the form of “these tall tales about certain Russian hackers”. Earlier, the Russian Embassy in the US rejected reports about the breach of the US Republican National Committee (RNC) by “Russian government hackers”. The incident was also later denied by an RNC spokesperson. The developments come after the news outlet Bloomberg reported that the hack attack on the RNC was perpetrated by “APT29” or “Cozy Bear”, a hacker group US intelligence claims is linked to the Russian government, despite denials from Moscow of any ties to the group. The breach coincided with a massive attack on dozens of US organisations on 3 July by a hacking group called REvil, a cybercrime syndicate with a reputation for ransomware attacks. The hack, which targeted more than 200 companies that use Kaseya VSA, an IT management tool, used ransomware to demand $70 million in Bitcoin, according to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Putin, Biden Deal With Cybercrime Cybercrime-related issues were high on the agenda of a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden in Geneva on 16 June. The summit was preceded by White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan clarifying Biden’s earlier statement about Putin’s proposal to exchange cyber criminals. Sullivan explained that Biden did not talk about handing over or exchanging hackers with Russia, but instead emphasised accountability. In particular, POTUS is ready to show cyber criminals are held accountable in the US if Putin offers the same for Russia, according to the adviser. He spoke after the Russian president signalled Moscow’s readiness to hand over cyber criminals to the US if Washington agrees to do the same. “If we agree to extradite [such] criminals, then of course Russia will do that, […] but only if the other side, in this case the United States, agrees to the same and will extradite the criminals in question to the Russian Federation”, Putin said.