(Trends Wide) — The White House will convene a meeting of 30 countries this month with the intention of intensifying global efforts to address the threat of ransomware to economic and national security, President Joe Biden said in a statement shared exclusively with Trends Wide.
“Cyber threats affect the lives and livelihoods of America’s families and businesses,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement to Trends Wide. Sullivan assured that the administration “will continue to build on the government’s joint effort to deter and prevent cyberattacks.”
The objective of the alliance will be “to accelerate our cooperation in the fight against cybercrime, improve the collaboration of security forces, curb the illicit use of cryptocurrencies and engage in these issues diplomatically,” Biden announced this Friday.
The announcement follows a series of ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure companies in the United States in recent months, including one that forced the major US fuel supplier Colonial Pipeline to shut down for days.
Skepticism of Moscow over cyber attacks
The first meeting of the multilateral initiative will be held virtually. It is part of an ongoing effort to cut the revenue of ransomware groups and find ways to go after them, according to the White House.
To strengthen America’s cybersecurity, “the federal government needs the collaboration of all Americans and all American businesses in these efforts,” added Biden.
In June, Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on cybercriminals operating from Russian soil, but US authorities have been skeptical of Moscow’s willingness to do so.
Following a brief period of quiet from some ransomware groups following the meeting between Biden and Putin, cybercriminals have targeted multiple victims of US companies in recent weeks.
New Cooperative, a 60-store cereal cooperative in Iowa, had to take its computers offline last month after Russian-speaking cybercriminals encrypted them. The cooperative said it managed to contain the intrusion.
US authorities have sought ways to stop cybercriminals that are not dependent on the cooperation of the Russian government. Last month, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a crypto exchange that the US authorities accused of doing business with the hackers behind eight types of ransomware.