Japan and US expected to boost cooperation on ransomware threats
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meets with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. Source: Department of Defense
Adam Janofsky December 27, 2021

Japan and US expected to boost cooperation on ransomware threats

Japan and US expected to boost cooperation on ransomware threats

Japanese government officials said the US and Japan are planning to agree on ransomware collaboration measures at an upcoming security summit, according to reports from Japanese media.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi were originally scheduled to meet in Washington on January 7 for the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee, also known as the “2-plus-2” security talks. But the summit, which is expected to focus on China’s military aggressions, was moved online due to the rapid spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

According to reports, cybersecurity will also be on the agenda—although there are few details about the ransomware agreements, it is expected to involve greater information sharing, collaboration on identifying hacker groups, and enhancing private-sector resilience against attacks.

In recent months, Japan was one of 30 partner countries involved in the White House National Security Council’s International Counter-Ransomware Initiative, which kicked off stronger cross-border collaboration on combating the threat.

“The big takeaway: It takes a network to fight a network…” Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger said in remarks following the talks. “This meeting was really about a global community bringing together government experts for a frank exchange of where counter-ransomware cooperation is working, where it can be improved, and what tools and best practices exist to achieve that shared goal.”

Adam is the founding editor-in-chief of The Record by Recorded Future. He previously was the cybersecurity and privacy reporter for Protocol, and prior to that covered cybersecurity, AI, and other emerging technology for The Wall Street Journal.