Australians will be among the representatives of 37 countries and 13 global companies attending a meeting hosted by the White House to address the growing threat of ransomware and other cybercrime.
The in-person meeting in Washington follows last year’s informal Anti-Ransomware Initiative virtual inaugural meeting, adding seven more countries and bringing together a diverse group of private sector actors for the first time.
The White House hopes the meeting will enable participating countries “to establish a globally recognized set of cyber standards to counter threats from criminal ransomware and hold malicious actors accountable,” said a US official.
Attendees plan to release a joint statement at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, including a pledge to redouble efforts to put pressure on Russia and other countries hosting ransomware attackers, the official said.
One of the main topics of discussion will be how to stop such attacks, thwart the illicit movement of cryptocurrencies and build resilience against such attacks, the official said.
“So less about Russia, more about how we, as a group of countries, are making ransomware more difficult, more expensive and more risky to operate,” the official said.
Ransomware attacks have increased dramatically in recent years, with more than 4,000 attacks reported outside the United States in the past 18 months alone, the official said, adding that progress has also been made in catching attackers.
The ransomware works by encrypting victims’ data, with hackers offering the victim a key in exchange for cryptocurrency payments of up to millions of dollars.
Senior administration officials will speak at the meeting, including FBI Director Chris Wray, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Participating countries besides the United States are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, European Commission, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan and Kenya. , Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway Poland, South Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Great Britain.
Russia, Belarus and other countries suspected of hosting attackers will not participate.