Ransomware: Washington hosts virtual summit on Wednesday and Thursday without Russia

Washington | Washington will unite nearly 30 countries on Wednesday and Thursday to strengthen international cooperation against ransomware, a senior White House official said, adding that Russia has not been invited.

Especially in the first half of 2021, the United States was hit by a number of ransomware attacks that involve encrypting a company’s networks to encrypt its data, and then demand a bond, often in bitcoins., Instead of encryption.

Participating in discussions, among others: the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, the European Union, Israel, Kenya and Mexico.

A senior U.S. official said during a conference call that four countries were particularly involved in the preparations by taking charge of the organization of the seminar sessions: India, Germany, Australia and the United States. England.

The discussions, according to this source, again revolve around four themes: building flexibility in countering these intimidating attempts; The role of virtual currencies in money laundering; Police and judicial action; Finally diplomacy.

“When we started sending out invitations, the desire to participate, to learn, to help other countries (…) was huge,” the senior official assured.

When asked about Russia’s absence, the source said: “For this first round of talks, we did not invite the Russians for a number of reasons.”

He said Washington and Moscow had already set up a “separate communication channel” in this regard.

Although Moscow has denied responsibility, most of these ransomware attacks have been blamed on Russian-speaking hacker groups or from Russian territory.

In July, US President Joe Biden called on Vladimir Putin to take action.

A senior White House official said a US-Russian expert panel had been set up and “open discussions” were being held.

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“We have seen that the Russian government has taken some action and we are waiting to see what happens next,” the source said, noting what the actions were.

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