US calls on Russia to do more to crack down on ransomware groups ahead of White House meeting with allies


The US authorities has “shared information with Russia regarding criminal ransomware activity being conducted from its territory,” mentioned the official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity below floor guidelines that the White House set for the decision.

“We’ve seen some steps by the Russian government and are looking to see follow-up actions,” mentioned the official, who declined to say what these steps and actions have been.

A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Biden in June urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on Russian-speaking hackers after a string of ransomware assaults price US corporations tens of millions of {dollars}. One such incident pressured Colonial Pipeline, which supplies some 45% of gas for the East Coast, to close down operations for days in May.
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The disruptions have positioned cybersecurity, and ransomware specifically, excessive on the checklist of nationwide safety priorities for the White House.

Senior authorities officers from the US and 30 allied international locations will meet just about Wednesday and Thursday to forge nearer cooperation within the battle towards ransomware, which has knocked computer systems offline at well being care facilities in a number of international locations in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among the many international locations that will likely be represented on the conferences, in accordance with the White House. The discussions will give attention to efforts to prosecute and disrupt ransomware teams and on coping with the position of cryptocurrency in funding ransomware assaults, amongst different points.

Russia will likely be conspicuously absent from the conferences because the White House tries to make progress in bilateral talks with Moscow.

Since the Biden-Putin assembly, US officers have watched carefully for modifications in habits from the Russian authorities and for any change within the tempo of cybercriminal operations emanating from Russia.

Mandiant, a US cybersecurity agency that responds to ransomware incidents, has reported a lull in exercise from some ransomware teams. But whether or not any discount in ransomware assaults endures stays to be seen.
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A spokesperson for Recorded Future, one other cybersecurity agency, informed CNN that the agency has been monitoring a “Russian-based ransomware group that currently has over 100 members” and is “actively recruiting new cybercriminals.”

Jen Easterly, director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, mentioned final week that she had not seen “significant, material changes” in Russian habits because the tete-a-tete between Biden and Putin.

Cybersecurity analysts say one of the crucial efficient methods to fight ransomware is to arrest the individuals who develop and deploy the computer-locking software program. While Russian cooperation has been elusive, the US has leaned closely on allies in Europe in raids towards some felony teams.

The FBI and European enforcement businesses last month arrested two people in Ukraine who allegedly had made multimillion-dollar ransom calls for following hacks of European and US organizations.

Timo Koster, a former Dutch diplomat centered on cybersecurity, mentioned he expects international locations just like the US and the Netherlands to encourage different governments to take extra assertive actions towards cybercriminal teams.

“More international cooperation is needed” in coordinating how international locations attribute cyberattacks to particular actors and on responses from regulation enforcement and safety businesses, Koster informed CNN.



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