The US White House will host officials from 37 countries and 13 global firms in Washington DC this week to address the growing threat of ransomware and other cybercrime, including usage of illicit cryptocurrencies, a senior US official said.
The in-person meeting follows 2021’s virtual inaugural meeting of the informer Counter-Ransomware Initiative, adding seven more nations and bringing in a diverse group of private sector firms for the first time.
The White House hopes the meeting will allow participating nations to institute a set of cyber norms that are recognized across the globe to counter criminal ransomware threats and hold malicious actors accountable.
Participants of the meeting plan to issue a joint statement at the end of the conference, including a pledge to redouble efforts to bring pressure on Russia and other nations that harbor ransomware attackers.
Ransomware attacks have risen sharply in recent years, with over 4,000 attacks reported outside the United States over the last 18 months alone. The officials added that there had also been progressed in arresting attackers.
Ransom software works by encrypting victims’ data, with cyber criminals offering the victim key in return for cryptocurrency payments that can run as high as millions of dollars.
Top officials in the Biden administration, including FBI Director Chris Wray, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will address the meeting.