TechCrunch reports that the U.S. and dozens of other countries have jointly agreed not to pay ransoms demanded by ransomware operations and financially motivated threat actors during the third International Counter Ransomware Initiative meeting.
While not all of the CRI's 48 member governments have committed to going against ransomware payments, such a pledge represents a significant step in curbing the illicit financial backbone of the ransomware ecosystem, according to Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger.
"This was a really big lift, and we're in the final throes of getting every last member to sign. But we're pretty much there, which is exciting," Neuberger said.
Other anti-ransomware efforts have been introduced at the meeting, including a shared denylist containing details of ransomware groups' digital wallets, and novel information-sharing platforms, as well as artificial intelligence utilization for examining ransomware payments across cryptocurrency platforms.
"If one country is attacked, others can quickly defend against that attack," added Neuberger.
Nearly $115 million worth of cryptocurrency have been stolen so far from the HTX digital currency exchange, formerly Huobi, and the Heco Chain blockchain bridge following a cyberattack last week, CNBC reports.