White House Unveils 32 Countries Invited to Participate in Ransomware Meeting


India, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany will have leadership roles during the two-day event. Russia was not invited.

Representatives from 32 countries and the European Union will join the U.S. for a meeting today that will identify concrete deliverables for countering ransomware, according to a senior administration official. 

The two days of discussions will be organized into four themes—resilience, illicit finance, law enforcement and diplomacy—with other nations leading panels on each category.  

“While the United States is facilitating this meeting, we don't view this solely as a U.S. initiative,” the official said during a background call with reporters Tuesday. “Many governments have been indispensable in organizing the meeting, and four countries in particular, volunteered to lead and organize specific thematic discussions. India for resilience, Australia for disruption, the U.K. for virtual currency and Germany for diplomacy.”

Other participating nations include: Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, the EU, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the senior administration official, the U.S. will lead a final panel on Thursday and announce concrete outcomes from the meeting, which will not involve Russia.

“There's a host of reasons that particular countries were invited to participate, including federal restrictions, availability of partners and logistical considerations,” the official said, adding that the meeting won’t be the last international engagement on the issue.

Declining to go into specifics, the senior administration official also said the U.S. has established a dedicated channel for engaging with Russia and has seen desired actions from the Kremlin on addressing ransomware perpetrators within its borders.  

“We've had very candid and direct discussions,” the official said. “We've shared information regarding specific criminal actors within Russia and Russia has taken initial steps … and we will look to see follow on in that area.”