White House

US to work with 30 countries to tackle ransomware problem

The Biden administration announced today plans to hold a meeting with representatives from 30 countries, including NATO allies and G7 partners, on the topic of cybercrime, with a particular focus on ransomware and the abuse of cryptocurrency.

"This month, the United States will bring together 30 countries to accelerate our cooperation in combatting cybercrime, improving law enforcement collaboration, stemming the illicit use of cryptocurrency, and engaging on these issues diplomatically," the White House said in a press release today.

Other topics to be discussed will include 5G technology, supply chain attacks, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence, the Biden administration said.

According to CNN, which first reported on the White House's intentions, the meeting will be held in a virtual format later this month.

The White House's announcement comes after the US has been plagued by a series of devastating ransomware attacks this year that have had some lasting consequences.

  • May - a ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline caused fuel shortages across the US East Coast.
  • June - a ransomware attack against JBS Foods disturbed the meat supply across the US.
  • July - a ransomware attack against Kaseya IT management servers caused disruptions at hundreds of companies across the US and more than 1,500 across the world.

In June, President Biden raised the issue of ransomware attacks carried out from within Russia's borders with President Putin in a face-to-face meeting. He raised the issue again in a phone call in early July, asking his Russian counterpart to crack down on gangs operating within Russia.

Ransomware gangs took a break to ease US political pressure over the summer but began carrying out new attacks in September, at which point FBI officials concluded that they saw "no indication" that Russian officials cracked down on these groups.

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Catalin Cimpanu

Catalin Cimpanu

is a cybersecurity reporter who previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.