US President Joe Biden will hold a White House meeting on ransomware and cybersecurity with representatives from 30 countries this month.
Taking place during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the meeting will address the threat posed by cyberattacks. The meeting will be hosted online by the White House National Security Council.
Among the topics of discussion will be how different national law enforcement groups can better cooperate to prosecute cybercriminals, as well as how to crack down on the illegal use of cryptocurrencies.
According to a White House statement, the country will work with its NATO allies and G7 partners to tackle cybersecurity issues.
“We are building a coalition of nations to advocate for and invest in trusted 5G technology and to better secure our supply chains,” the statement said.
“And, we are bringing the full strength of our capabilities to disrupt malicious cyber activity, including managing both the risks and opportunities of emerging technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.”
Businesses worldwide are becoming more concerned about the growing threat from ransomware – this has put increased pressure on Biden to tackle the issue.
In the wake of the major Microsoft Exchange attack, Biden established a task force to investigate the event. The scale of Microsoft’s operations meant that the attack could have affected around 60,000 US organisations, including some government groups. As such, it posed a national security risk to the US.
According to the White House statement, the Biden administration’s 100-day action plan has drawn commitments from 150 utilities to deploy cybersecurity technologies to protect their customers.
“We must lock our digital doors – by encrypting our data and using multifactor authentication, for example – and we must build technology securely by design, enabling consumers to understand the risks in the technologies they buy,” it said.
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The global scale of ransomware demands international cooperation. This is especially true when major attacks are backed by nation state actors, who either turn a blind eye to the hackers or actively support them.
The Microsoft Exchange attack was linked to a China-based group, Hafnium, while many other sophisticated attacks originate in Russia.
Back in late August, US President Joe Biden discussed global cybersecurity with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. In the aftermath of this call, a notorious Russia-based hacking group REvil went offline, giving speculation that the move had been prompted by the presidents’ dialogue.
It was later claimed by an unverified representative of the group that it went offline after a previous spokesperson was arrested and the servers may have been compromised.