USA and 40 Allies: No Ransom Payments to Hackers in Global Cybersecurity Pact

Forty countries, led by the US, plan to sign a pledge to never pay ransom to cybercriminals and work to eliminate hacker financing mechanisms, a senior White House official said

by Sededin Dedovic
USA and 40 Allies: No Ransom Payments to Hackers in Global Cybersecurity Pact
© Code Green / Youtube channel

Forty nations, spearheaded by the United States, are poised to formalize a commitment to abstain from paying ransoms to cybercriminals and collaborate extensively to eradicate the financial channels sustaining hackers, according to a senior White House official.

This global anti-ransomware initiative is emerging against a backdrop of escalating cyber threats worldwide. Anne Neuberger, the U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser overseeing new technologies, disclosed during a virtual briefing that the United States bears the brunt of such attacks, constituting 46% of the total.

She emphasized that the persistence of ransomware threats is intrinsically tied to the steady influx of funds to criminal entities. Ransomware attacks typically involve hackers encrypting an organization's systems and then demanding payment in exchange for decrypting them.

Beyond the immediate ransom demand, attackers often pilfer sensitive data, leveraging it to extort victims by threatening public exposure unless payments are made. The fresh initiative seeks to disrupt criminal funding by fostering improved sharing of information related to ransom accounts.

Two dedicated information-sharing platforms are set to be established: one by Lithuania and another collaboratively by Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Countries participating in the initiative will exchange a comprehensive "blacklist" through the U.S.

Treasury Department, encompassing details about digital wallets employed to conceal extorted sums. Neuberger further revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) will be harnessed for blockchain analysis, with the explicit objective of identifying illicit assets.

The commitment to combat ransomware is not merely symbolic; it signifies a paradigm shift in global cybersecurity strategy. By fostering collaboration, deploying cutting-edge technologies, and sharing crucial intelligence, the initiative aims to erect an impenetrable shield against the surging tide of ransomware.

The concerted emphasis on information exchange, sophisticated analytics, and joint endeavors underscores the shared determination to disrupt the financial arteries sustaining cybercriminals. As this proactive initiative unfolds, it mirrors a strategic and united front against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

In this dynamic digital arena, where solidarity is crucial, the collective response underscores a commitment to thwart the escalating menace of ransomware attacks.

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