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India to play a key role in Joe Biden’s meeting on ransomware attacks;  All you need to know

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India will be one of the countries leading discussions on measures to combat ransomware attacks at a meeting chaired by the Joe Biden administration. The unique two-day meeting, which ends on October 14, will bring together ministers and senior officials from more than 30 countries.

This year, in particular, has seen several large-scale ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline, JBS meat packers, as well as numerous strikes against city officials, private organizations, and even hospitals, have prompted authorities to scramble. The widespread adoption and growing value of cryptocurrencies, through which ransom is often collected, has added fuel to the fire.

Recognizing the main weaknesses and susceptibility of a major infrastructure to ransomware attacks, President Biden announced the international discussion earlier in the month.

“The initiative builds on President Biden’s leadership to rally allies and partners to address the common threat of ransomware. It also builds on our own national efforts – important efforts, as you have seen, on the recent designation of the Treasury and other efforts we have underway, “a senior administration official told reporters.

Growing ransomware attacks also pose a serious economic threat, the true scale of which is often difficult to determine. Many companies often choose not to disclose the fact that they have been compromised to avoid negative media and customer attention.

“Ransomware payments reached over $ 400 million globally in 2020 and topped $ 81 million in the first quarter of 2021, illustrating the financial nature of these activities,” read a statement from a file. White House information released for the event.

Discussions will follow four strategies the Biden administration uses to neutralize the ransomware threat. These include: disrupting ransomware infrastructure and actors, building resilience to resist ransomware attacks, tackling virtual currency abuse to launder ransom payments, and leveraging international cooperation to disrupt ransomware ecosystem and fight safe havens for ransomware criminals.

India, along with Australia, Germany and the UK would each lead discussions on specific topics. Countries volunteered to organize the specific thematic discussions at the event. India will tackle resilience, Austria will tackle disruption, the UK will anchor virtual currency, and Germany will lead diplomacy.

Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, EU, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, The Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom will also join the meeting.

However, two key players and often accused state accessories will be missing. Russia and China will not participate in the meeting. It is not known if they were not invited or if they chose not to attend. Both countries have been accused of carrying out state-sponsored cyber attacks against other nations. Russia appears to be providing implicit aid to hackers, while the Chinese State Ministry itself is believed to be implicated in the attacks.

(Edited by : Shoma bhattacharjee)

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