Countries join online counter-ransomware meeting

Representatives from 30 countries and the European Union are taking part in an online meeting on countering ransomware attacks.

The two-day meeting that began on Wednesday is being hosted by the United States.

In his opening remarks, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "No one country, no one group can solve this problem."

He added, "We view international cooperation as foundational to our collective ability to deal with the ransomware ecosystem, to hold criminals and the states that harbor them accountable, and to reduce the threat to our citizens in each of our countries."

Participants will discuss stepping up measures against the laundering of crypto-assets used for ransom payment, and cooperation in bringing charges against groups and individuals involved in crime.

Russia, which is said to harbor ransomware gangs, was not invited to the meeting.

The US government says ransomware payments amounted to 400 million dollars globally in 2020.

Japanese businesses have also been affected. In the US, cyberattacks on a major oil pipeline triggered fuel shortages in May.