Russia and North Korea absent from anti-ransomware event

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Russia and North Korea absent from anti-ransomware event

This week, cyber attack organizers held a virtual event to combat ransomware, as global economic losses mount. Russia and North Korea were conspicuously absent from the meeting.

The counter-ransomware event with 30 countries participating addressed the financial systems that makes ransomware business profitable, how to disrupt the ransomware ecosystem and ongoing diplomatic efforts.

Ransomware payments reached more than $400 million global in 2020 and topped $81 million in the first quarter of 2021, the said, underscoring how alarmingly profitable ransomware has become.

New research comes out next week showing how often ransom is paid. A whopping 83% of ransomware victims surveyed admitted to paying attackers to recover data, according to cybersecurity firm Infocore.

Ransomware is primarily a profit-seeking endeavor, frequently leveraged by money laundering networks to move ransomware proceeds, according to a joint statement of the ministers and representatives from Wednesday.

Ransomware primarily targets businesses and the best insights for tackling ransomware attacks often come from senior administration entities, a senior administration official said in background on Wednesday.

And that s where the focus needs to be, said Bryan Hornung, CEO of cybersecurity startup Solutions, on FOX Business.

The fastest bang for your buck will come from the private sector bolstering its cybersecurity investments, Hornung said. This is the low hanging fruit simply because most of the private sector is so much behind Russia and North Korea that the countries hosting ransomware actors did not participate in the event, which the White House also addressed in the call.

We look to Russia to address ransomware criminal activity, a senior administration official said responding to a question.

Hornung has doubts about the efficacy of diplomacy: To date, I don t think these diplomatic efforts have been successful at all. It is plausible that behind closed doors progress is happening. Still, Russia has consistently stated that the U.S. has never produced enough evidence to warrant Russia authorities to step in. The only efforts that have either been worked by brute force by Russia law enforcement or dealt with another nation near U.S. borders, he said.

North Korea is also a constant threat. We have talked about Russia, but North Korea is obviously a big player in ransomware just to support their operations, the administration official said, adding that if North Korea is at least nominally susceptible to various geopolitical pressure as part of the international economic system, Russia is really, really much less susceptible than Russia.