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White House to Host International Conference to Address Ransomware Threats

The White House is gathering representatives from close to 40 nations to develop a united strategy for combating ransomware threats.

Photo by Edoardo Cuoghi / Unsplash

The White House (1) is gathering representatives from close to 40 nations to develop a united strategy for combating ransomware threats.

What's this gathering for?

The gathering is an official follow-up to a similar online gathering held last year as the incidence of ransomware assaults increased. The gathering will also focus on cryptocurrencies, the preferred payment mechanism of ransomware perpetrators. This week in Washington, the White House convenes an international gathering to discuss the rise in ransomware assaults.

The seminar will discuss various cybercrimes, ransomware assaults, and the cryptocurrencies that enable them. The White House claims that the meeting's objective is to create an international standard for handling these issues. The development of defenses against or disrupting these attacks and "holding harmful actors responsible" are key items on the agenda. This second argument is extremely important since governments that oppose the international order frequently host ransomware culprits.

Getting to Know Participants From Around the World

This gathering will act as an official continuation of the Counter-Ransomware Initiative, which was conducted online the previous year. Seven additional nations have joined the 30 that took part in the initial summit from the previous year. North Korea, Russia, and Belarus are notable exceptions since they are thought to help and hide ransomware attackers. For the first time, attendees of this gathering will also include officials from top tech companies like Microsoft, SAP, and Siemens.

According to the White House, several of the administration's senior officials will attend the meeting. These will comprise the deputy cabinet members Wally Adeyemo, the deputy secretary of the Treasury, and Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state. Important security officials, including Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor, and FBI Director Chris Wray, will also participate. Typically, ransomware attackers demand payment in cryptocurrency.

Why address this threat ?

The rise in their frequency worldwide has made the necessity for a concerted effort to counteract ransomware attacks. Over the last 15 months, 4,000 assaults were recorded outside of the US, according to the White House. According to statistics from Chainalysis, ransom payments in cryptocurrencies increased by over $600 million in 2021 compared to the previous year. (2)

Attackers that utilize ransomware use specialized software to encrypt the data of corporations and people. Victims must pay a ransom to the attackers, who often prefer bitcoin payments, to have their data released. The industry has grown so lucrative that the top producers of ransomware software even provide customer support for their goods.