White House hosts ransomware event with 30 countries as payments rise


The White House hosted a virtual event this week to fight ransomware as global economic losses increase. Russia and North Korea were clearly absent from the meeting.

The counter-ransomware event – attended by 30 countries – discussed the financial systems that make profitable the burgeoning ransomware business, how to disrupt the ransomware ecosystem, and ongoing diplomatic efforts.

Ransomware payments reached over $ 400 million globally in 2020 and topped $ 81 million in the first quarter of 2021, the White House said, noting how extremely profitable ransomware has become.

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Research released next week shows how often a ransom is paid. According to a cybersecurity company, 83% of ransomware victims surveyed admitted to paying attackers to recover their data. ThycoticCentrify.

“Ransomware is primarily a for-profit business, typically leveraging money laundering networks to transfer ransomware proceeds,” according to a joint statement by ministers and law enforcement officials. Ransomware Initiative Meeting Thursday.

Ransomware primarily targets businesses, and the best information to combat ransomware attacks often comes from private sector entities, a senior administration official in the background said. press call Wednesday.

And this is where to focus, Bryan Hornung, CEO of the cybersecurity company Xact IT. Solutions, said FOX Business.

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“The fastest bang for your buck will come from the private sector which will step up its investments in cybersecurity,” Hornung said. “It’s the fruit at hand … simply because most of the private sector is so far behind”

Russia and North Korea – often cited as countries hosting ransomware actors – did not participate in the event, which the White House also addressed in the appeal.

“We expect the Russian government to tackle ransomware-related criminal activity from actors in Russia,” the senior administration official said in response to a question.

Hornung has doubts about the effectiveness of diplomacy: “To date, I don’t think these diplomatic efforts have been successful.

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“It is perhaps plausible that behind closed doors progress is occurring. Yet Russia has always said that the United States has never produced enough evidence to warrant intervention by Russian authorities. that have operated to date have involved brute force by US law enforcement or working with another country close to Russia’s borders, ”he said.

North Korea is also a constant threat. “We talked about Russia, but North Korea is obviously a big ransomware player just to support their government’s operations,” the administration official said, adding “if Russia is at least nominally … sensitive to various geopolitical pressures within the framework of the international economic system, North Korea is really, really much less sensitive. “



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