At a US-led summit, countries reveal their ransomware pain.


At a US-led summit, countries reveal their ransomware pain.

At a Washington-led anti-ransomware summit on Wednesday, countries detailed their battles against cyber-extortionists, including a digital “crisis” in Germany, rising attacks in the United Arab Emirates, and even Israel planning a blitz.

With the conspicuous exception of Russia, the United States has organized a group of 30 countries to increase cooperation in combating the costly and disruptive attacks that have swept the globe.

Yigal Unna, the director of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, announced the newest incident as if on cue.

“I can now reveal that Israel is currently dealing with a large ransomware attack against one of its main hospitals,” Unna stated.

If the stories told so far are any indication, the threat is painful, pervasive, and expanding.

After being paralyzed by a ransomware attack this summer, a local government in the eastern district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld declared a state of “cyber catastrophe” for the first time.

Numerous ransomware attacks against organizations have also been reported in the United States, particularly in the first half of 2021.

These assaults entail getting into a company’s networks to encrypt data and then demanding a ransom in bitcoin in exchange for the key to decrypt it.

“We talked about a 70% increase year over year in South Korea, and a 200 percent spike in the UAE,” Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber, stated.

Hospitals in Ireland and the Czech Republic were targeted, as were serious disruptions to marine infrastructure in South Africa, according to the stories.

The virtual gathering, which began on Wednesday and will end on Thursday, included the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, the European Union, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, and others.

“This is a problem that no one country, no one group can fix,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

“Our governments may take various tactics in terms of tools… to combat ransomware,” he said, “but we acknowledge the issue of ransomware.”

He thanked Australia, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom in particular for their active participation in the meeting’s preparations.

Building resilience against extortion attempts, the role of cryptocurrencies in laundering ransoms, law enforcement and judicial action, and diplomacy are the four issues that these countries have arranged workshops around on Wednesday and Thursday.

“In this first round of conversations, we did not invite the Russians to join,” a senior White House official said in a briefing Tuesday when asked about Russia’s absence.

Washington and Moscow, according to the source. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.


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