White House Convenes Summit for Stopping the Spread of Ransomware

The U.S. White House brought together 36 countries and the EU for its second International Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI) summit to counter the global spread of ransomware.

Among other initiatives, the CRI plans to establish an International Counter Ransomware Task Force (ICRTF), share technical information about ransomware with a wide range of stakeholders and provide an "investigator’s toolkit" to CRI partners.

Significantly, the CRI also has committed to “take joint steps to stop ransomware actors from being able to use the cryptocurrency ecosystem to garner payment.” This would include sharing information about crypto wallets used for laundering funds, as well as developing and implementing anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) crypto standards. Among those standards would be “know your customer” (KYC) rules to reduce their misuse by cyber criminals.

On Tuesday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also published a report on ransomware payments, finding they grew over the past year but without detailing what portion of that growth was in crypto.