The white house on Wednesday and Thursday will convene meetings with representatives from more than 30 countries to discuss how to counter ransomware, leaving out the country the president most frequently criticizes for hosting gangs of hackers: russia.
“Participants will cover everything from efforts to improve national resilience, to experiences addressing the misuse of virtual currency to launder ransom payments, our respective efforts to disrupt and prosecute ransomware criminals and diplomacy as a tool to counter ransomware,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday.
The official didn’t specify why Russia didn’t get an invitation beyond unnamed “constraints.” The lack of an invitation this time “doesn’t preclude future opportunities for them to participate.” The U.S. also has other avenues for discussing ransomware with the Kremlin, the official said.
The lack of an invitation for Russia exemplifies the tensions over when the U.S. might involve more adversarial nations in discussions over areas of conflict in cyberspace. In international forums, Russia and the U.S. often find themselves jostling for leadership on cyber issues, with agreement rare.
U.S.-Russia conversations over ransomware are marked by “frank and professional” discussions that includes the U.S. sharing