The United States hosted a two-day virtual event to discuss issues of cybersecurity with representatives from 30 countries around the world, such as promised by President Biden earlier in October.
The meeting dubbed “Counter-Ransomware Initiative” is part of the Biden administration’s effort to quash the emerging threat of ransomware.
While the meeting has representatives of U.S. NATO allies and G7 countries, Russia and China are being discreet by their absence.
“In this first round of talks, we did not invite the Russians to participate for a multitude of reasons,” a senior administration official told reporters on a call earlier in the week.
An anonymous spokesperson for the National Security Council later said The record that the decision not to issue an invitation to China was also conscious.
Demonstration of intention
The senior administration official reportedly said that holding the first meeting without Russia “does not exclude future opportunities for them to participate as we do other sessions.”
Tensions on the cybersecurity front between Russia and the United States have built up since it emerged that a majority of ransomware operators and cybercriminals, such as those who targeted Colonial Pipeline, and forced shutdown one of the country’s main pipelines, operate from Russia or any of the other former Soviet states.
Following the revelations, President Biden met his Russian counterpart President Putin on the sidelines of the Geneva summit earlier this year, apparently to discuss Russia’s apparent inaction against cybercriminals.
The administration official added that there had been “frank and direct” discussions within the group of experts established after the two presidents’ meeting on the actions the United States expects from Russia against gangs. ransomware operating within its borders.
“We have seen some measures from the Russian government and are awaiting follow-up actions,” the official said without further details. However, he asserted that there will be future meetings and that Russia could be part of them if it takes decisive action against the threatening actors.
Going through The record