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Tags: Cybersecurity | ransomware | united states | eu

EU, US Vow to Fight Ransomware Together

alejandro mayorkas stands behind podium
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas at a joint news conference after the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting at the Belem Cultural Center in Lisbon, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Armando Franca/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 June 2021 02:10 PM

The United States and European governments have agreed to work together in order to combat a surge in ransomware attacks in recent years, Politico reported on Tuesday.

"We have now a new ransomware working group to address the scourge of ransomware that has hurt the U.S. so much, and so many other countries," Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said after holding discussions with European ministers for justice and home affairs in Lisbon. "We understand that the vulnerabilities of one, that we all share those vulnerabilities."

Mayorkas added that the EU and U.S. want to fight the attacks "through the sharing of information, ... through the exchange of best practices and working together."

EU's Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson had similar sentiments, saying "This is something we share, that increase of ransomware attacks during the pandemic, and that is an area where for sure we can do more together."

Security experts have blamed Russian-based cybercriminal groups for attacks on the West during the coronavirus pandemic, such as shutting down the largest gasoline pipeline system in the U.S. and the American operations of meat processing company JBS in May, according to Politico.

The same month a ransomware attack wreaked havoc on Ireland’s health care system.

A joint statement by the EU and U.S. said they would work together "through law enforcement action, raising public awareness on how to protect networks, as well as the risk of paying the criminals responsible, and to encourage those states that turn a blind eye to this crime to arrest and extradite or effectively prosecute criminals on their territory."

Last week at his summit in Geneva with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Joe Biden warned about the "significant cyber capability" the U.S. has to retaliate in the event that the Kremlin did not curb cyberattacks agasint the the U.S. that have originated from its territory, Roll Call reported.

Biden told reporters that he gave Putin a list of 16 critical U.S. infrastructure sectors that should be off limits to attacks and said he told the Russian leader that "This is not about just our self-interest; it’s about a mutual self-interest. I pointed out to him we have significant cyber capability, and he knows it. He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it’s significant, and if in fact they violate these basic norms, we will respond."

However, cyber policy expert Jim Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Roll Call that "We have boundaries that the Russians have agreed to now three times. Well … what’s changed?"

Lewis added that "the ball is back in our court, and if we do something to make the Russians and Putin reconsider… there could be some benefit in talking. But short of that, the Russians are just going to see if we are bluffing."

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GlobalTalk
The United States and European governments have agreed to work together in order to combat a surge in ransomware attacks in recent years. "We have now a new ransomware working group to address the scourge...
ransomware, united states, eu
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2021-10-22
Tuesday, 22 June 2021 02:10 PM
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