US convenes countries to address ransomware

The Biden administration will convene three-dozen allied governments on Monday and Tuesday to discuss how to stem the tide of attacks that have disrupted critical infrastructure firms around the world and cost businesses millions of dollars.

A senior administration official told reporters that the summit will take a hard look at virtual currencies that facilitate cybercriminal profits and ways that companies and governments can fortify themselves against hacks.

CommonSpirit, a major US hospital network, continues to recover from a ransomware attack that has cut off some health providers’ access to electronic health records. The computer systems of the Los Angeles Unified School District were disrupted by a separate attack over the Labor Day weekend.

The official said that the pace and sophistication of the attacks were increasing faster than resilience and disruption efforts.

According to a senior administration official, the visiting delegations will be briefed this week by the FBI Director, Wendy Sherman, and the deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo. Many governments are expected to participate, including Canada, Singapore, Ukraine, and the UK.

A senior administration official said that the summit would begin with a presentation from US intelligence and security agencies about 4,000 cyberattacks in countries around the world in the last 18 months.

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