The United States of America is set to convene a meeting with 30 other world leaders to chart a way forward on ending ransomware attacks and illegal use of cryptocurrencies in the world. The meeting would hold later this month.
In a statement by national security adviser Jake Sullivan shared exclusively with CNN, he said Cyber threats affect the lives and livelihoods of American families and businesses.
Sullivan said the administration would “continue to build on our whole-of-government effort to deter and disrupt cyberattacks.”
The first meeting will be this month, hosted by the U.S. and held virtually, the Biden administration said Friday. The meeting is said to be an informal mechanism to boost cooperation and also target the misuse of virtual currency to launder ransom payments.
Alliance against ransomware attacks
The meeting with the world leaders is aimed at creating an alliance to accelerate cooperation in combatting cybercrime, improving law enforcement collaboration, stemming the illicit use of cryptocurrency, and engaging on these issues diplomatically.
Although the US did not mention the countries enlisted for the meeting, speculation have it that NATO and members of the G7 are going to be involved as cybersecurity and, especially, ransomware attacks has emerged as major national and international security priorities.
The meeting follows series of ransomware attacks on US critical infrastructure firms in recent months, including one that forced major US fuel supplier Colonial Pipeline to shut down for days.
Ransomware has ravaged businesses around the world this year, including those that operate critical infrastructures like hospitals and pipelines. The attacks believed to primarily originate from Russia and other eastern European companies most frequently have been directed at the U.S.
Biden Putin speak on ransomware cyber theft
Previously, the American president met with his Russia president, Vladimir Putin on the threats posed by ransomware attacks and cyber theft.
Biden provided Russia’s Vladimir Putin with a list of 16 critical infrastructure sectors that are supposed to be off-limits to hackers. But since that meeting, U.S. hospitals and companies within the food supply chain have been hit by ransomware gangs that are believed by cybersecurity experts to operate out of Russia.