The US government started this Wednesday (13) virtual meetings with leaders from at least 30 countries to discuss measures to combat ransomware attacks. The malicious campaigns resulted in more than $400 million in ransom payments in 2020 alone, according to the White House, the equivalent of R$2.2 billion per day.
The two-day online summit will be the first of many planned meetings between ministers and senior officials of the invited nations. The conversations should address topics such as the misuse of cryptocurrencies for money laundering, efforts to prosecute cybercriminals and the diplomacy to contain attacks.
Discussions of the “Against Ransomware Initiative,” as the cyber meeting was dubbed, are based on Joe Biden’s administration’s efforts to deal with cyber criminal groups. Recently, the US president announced investments to disrupt the entire infrastructure behind the ransomware groups.
$81 million worth of cryptomeda was paid in ransomware-related ransoms in the first quarter of 2021.Source: Unsplash
Biden also called on the private sector to invest in defense mechanisms to face cyber threats and called for international cooperation to hinder the actions of criminals who would be operating with impunity in several countries. He also spoke of new tools to track and prevent the illicit use of virtual currencies.
Russia and China barred
Among those invited to participate in the first meetings of the Anti-Ransomware Initiative, two important absences were noted. Both Russia and China are not participating in the meetings scheduled for this week.
US government officials said the lack of tougher action to combat ransomware attacks by the administrations of these two countries led the Russians and Chinese to stay out of the first round of discussions.
It is worth remembering that the two nations have been accused by the US of facilitating the campaigns of groups responsible for the invasions and even financing cyberattacks, in some cases.