Alliance of 40 Countries Pledge Not to Pay Ransom to Cybercriminals, According to US
Updated: Jan 8
An alliance of 40 countries, led by the United States, has committed to never paying ransom to cybercriminals and to work towards eliminating the funding mechanisms of hackers, as announced by a senior White House official.
The International Counter Ransomware Initiative aims to address the growing number of ransomware attacks worldwide, with the US being the most heavily targeted country.
Anne Neuberger, the US deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, highlighted the need to cut off the flow of money to ransomware criminals in order to effectively combat the problem. Ransomware attacks involve hackers encrypting an organisation's systems and demanding ransom payments in exchange for unlocking them. These attacks often involve the theft of sensitive data, which is then used to extort victims or leaked online if the payments are not made.
Recent high-profile attacks in the US include those on casino operator MGM Resorts International and cleaning products maker Clorox, both of which are still recovering from the disruptions caused. The alliance's new initiatives aim to tackle the funding of criminals through improved information sharing about ransom payment accounts. Lithuania will create one information-sharing platform, while Israel and the UAE will jointly create another.
As part of the initiative, partner countries will share a "black list" of digital wallets used for ransomware payments through the US Department of Treasury. The effort will also utilise artificial intelligence to analyse blockchain technology and identify illicit funds. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, the volume of cryptocurrency payments to ransomware attackers is on track to reach its second-highest annual total on record.
An alliance of 40 countries, led by the US, has committed to never paying ransom to cybercriminals.
The International Counter Ransomware Initiative aims to eliminate the funding mechanisms of hackers.
Ransomware attacks involve encrypting an organisation's systems and demanding ransom payments.
High-profile attacks in the US have affected companies like MGM Resorts International and Clorox.