International community joins forces as ransomware attacks create major disruptions


Nick Schifrin:

Just in the past six months, ransomware hackers debilitated one of the U.S.’ largest meat producers and a crucial pipeline. They disrupted Ireland’s national health system, and they are currently wreaking havoc in an Israeli hospital system, which had to cancel all non-emergency procedures.

At this week’s virtual conference, the countries pledged to improve cooperation in law enforcement, inhibit, trace and interdict ransomware payments, and harden infrastructure.

Anne Neuberger is the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology. She organized the conference and joins me now.

Anne Neuberger, welcome to the “NewsHour.”

So, talk about this conference. This was the largest multinational gathering to discuss ransomware. What specific commitments did you get from these 30 countries?

Anne Neuberger, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology,: Really great question, Nick.

Ransomware is a transnational threat. I will unpack that with the example that you used, the Israeli hospital. In that case, you could have the human attackers in one country, the exchanges that they used to facilitate the movement of illicit currency in a second, registered in one country, operating in a third country, and the infrastructure from which they conducted an attack in yet a fourth, fifth or sixth country.

So, we brought countries together to really coordinate our fight against ransomware. And the key takeaway was, countries talked about what’s working today in that cooperation, where the gaps are, and committing to working together to — across those gaps to fight ransomware more effectively.