Wednesday, October 20, 2021

White House plans 30-nation meeting on cybercrime and ransomware

WASHINGTON: America’s top national security adviser will gather officials from 30 countries this month to come up with a plan to tackle the growing threat of ransomware and other cybercrime, President Joe Biden said on Friday.

An online session organized by the White House National Security Council will aim to “improve law enforcement cooperation” on issues such as “illicit use of cryptocurrency,” Biden said in a statement.

The Biden administration has stepped up its cybersecurity response to the administration’s senior-most levels following a set of attacks this year that threatened to destabilize US energy and food supplies.

Meat producer JBS SA paid $11 million to perpetuate an attack on its system that halted production and is believed to have originated from a criminal group with Russian links.

Colonial Pipeline paid approximately $5 million to a hacker gang based in Eastern Europe to gain access, some of which was later withdrawn by US law enforcement.

Both companies paid the ransom in bitcoin.

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Ransom software works by encrypting the data of the victims. Typically hackers will provide the victim with a key in exchange for a cryptocurrency payment that can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

The Biden administration hopes that their new informal grouping, which they are calling the Counter-Ransomware Initiative, will fuel their diplomatic push that includes direct talks with Russia as well as the NATO alliance and the Group of Seven (G-7) rich countries. is included. .

The administration has increasingly focused on curbing the Chinese regime’s “malicious cyber activity”, which Beijing denies.

It was not immediately clear which countries would participate or when the meeting would take place.

A White House official said they are particularly keen to address “the misuse of virtual currency for ransom payments” and intend to “investigate and prosecute ransomware criminals”, many who are anonymous and attack institutions in other countries.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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