The United States has launched meetings attended by representatives of countries that all hope to tackle the scourge of ransomware – without Russia or China in the room.

Expression of the United States National Security Council’s anti-ransomware initiative, the two-day meetings will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The initiative builds on President Biden’s leadership to rally allies and partners to address the shared threat of ransomware,” noted a senior administration official on the two-day virtual meeting of ministers and senior officials from over 30 countries and the EU.

China and Russia are not at the event. Both were verified in a press call ahead of the event as a source of recent cyber-malware, and as such are not welcome when discussing a solution.

Eager to address the elephant in the room – or rather the unauthorized bears in the room – media during the pre-event call repeatedly insisted Biden’s anonymous rep about the absence from China and Russia. It was made clear that the United States was engaging separately and directly with Russia on the issue of ransomware, and Russia’s future participation in such engagements was not excluded.

“The headline, guys, really should be around the US government leading and bringing countries together to fight ransomware effectively,” said the official, who later admitted that Russia was not invited, rather than simply unavailable to attend the party.

“Russia is playing a role because of a number of criminal actors that you know operate from Russia. And that is why President Biden has established with his counterpart – with President Putin – a dedicated channel for us to have very focused and frank communication. discussions. And that is why I told you that we have had several and that they are continuing, “said the senior administration official.

The meeting agenda includes efforts to improve national resilience, tackling the misuse of virtual currency to launder ransom payments, efforts to disrupt and prosecute ransomware criminals, and diplomacy as a tool. fight against ransomware. Only the first of the six sessions was open to the press – the others are closed in order to encourage “frank and open dialogue”. Just not too much open.

As the US facilitates the meeting, efforts are concerted among nations as India will lead and host talks on resilience, Australia on disruption, UK on virtual currency, and Germany. on diplomacy.

“We know very well – all of us who are gathered here today – that we cannot do it alone”, noted National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in opening remarks on Zoom. He described cybersecurity as a priority urgent threat by the United States, whose agencies “are pursuing an integrated effort to disrupt the ransomware ecosystem.” ®


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