US Spearheads Alliance With 40 Countries To Never Pay Ransomware Gangs Again
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent means by which threat actors generate revenue, creating a billion-dollar underground industry. Given this financial reality, ransomware gangs are working constantly to outsmart the authorities trying to stop them, though that has not seemed to work. Now, the Biden administration is moving to create a U.S.-led alliance of forty countries that pledge to never pay ransom to cybercriminals and eliminate the funding mechanism.
The third annual meeting of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative summit has commenced, aiming to tackle the ongoing problem of ransomware. This year, Malwarebytes reported that the United States fronted 43% of all ransomware attacks, and the total number of attacks has increased 75% from the first to the second half of the last 12 months. The most recent high-profile string of attacks was against several casinos in Las Vegas, wherein the attackers made off with millions of dollars and presumably a fair amount of customer data.
As part of the Initiative to combat these sorts of events, Reuters reports that 40 countries have come together to sign a pledge “never to pay ransom to cybercriminals and to work toward eliminating the hackers' funding mechanism.” With respect to the latter, the goal would be to increase information sharing between the signatory countries, including a digital wallet “blacklist” run through the U.S. Department of Treasury.
At the end of the day, we will have to see if these measures help to curb ransomware. However, we know that the threat actors will immediately move to circumvent the measures put in place or find new means of drawing income. This will certainly be interesting to watch unfold, so stay tuned to HotHardware and let us know what you think in the comments below.