Countries agree to fight ransomware together after White House meetings

The U.S., European Union and 30 countries agreed to work together to fight ransomware, according to a joint statement Thursday that recognizes ransomware as “an escalating global security threat with serious economic and security consequences.”

The statement, which emerged following a two-day virtual summit convened by the White House, commits to cooperation on several fronts to reduce harm from the rise in ransomware attacks: 

Efforts will include improving network resilience to prevent incidents when possible and respond effectively when incidents do occur; addressing the abuse of financial mechanisms to launder ransom payments or conduct other activities that make ransomware profitable; and disrupting the ransomware ecosystem via law enforcement collaboration to investigate and prosecute ransomware actors, addressing safe havens for ransomware criminals, and continued diplomatic engagement.

You can read the full statement here.

Russia and China were not invited to the event. 

President Joe Biden has repeatedly pushed Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on ransomware gangs operating out of Russia, but top U.S. officials have said there’s “no indication” that Russia has taken steps to curb attacks. 

In July, the U.S. and allies attributed a sweeping attack on Microsoft Exchange email servers and a ransomware incident to China. 

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson (they/them) is a longtime cybersecurity journalist who cut their teeth covering technology policy at ThinkProgress (RIP) and The Washington Post before doing deep-dive public records investigations at the Project on Government Oversight and American Oversight.

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