Biden Excludes Russia from Cybersecurity Conference
The Biden Administration left a major actor and superpower out of the two-day conference: Russia.
After recently announcing the assembly of a 30-country conference to tackle ransomware, the Biden Administration left a major actor and superpower out of the two-day conference: Russia.
The event was held for two days, starting Wednesday, and it was a private conference in which participants, described by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan as “like-minded” governments, discussed cybersecurity strategies and ways to tackle ransomware.
Some of the countries which attended were Germany, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, France, Bulgaria, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Mexico and Singapore.
The most brazen aspect of Russia’s exclusivity from the event is the fact that a security official said last month that it was not clear whether Russia had taken the necessary steps to crack down on groups affiliated with Ransomware in Russia – however, “Israel,” which has recently seen international scrutiny for the Pegasus Spyware scandal – holds a very poor record in cybersecurity. Yet, "Israel" was among the 30 countries attending the conference.
Multiple times this year, the United States faced cyberattacks that had threatened their energy and food supplies.
A group attributed to 'Russian links' was paid $11 million by a meat producer, JBS SA, to end an attack on their systems which got in the way of their production. Colonial Pipeline also has a similar story. They paid a group, believed to be based in Eastern Europe, about $5 million in order to reacquire access to their system.
The Counter-Ransomware Initiative, as the Biden administration called it, was hoped to be an initiative that'll support further diplomacy between Russia, the NATO alliance, and the G7.
However, Russia’s exclusion from the conference is remotely a poor reflection of US-Russia diplomacy and relations.