Robert Weiner

Alex Reece


Especially because of the recent massive ransomware attacks, a world summit only way would get multinational pressure to help solve the issue, write former White House spokesman Robert Weiner and policy analyst Alexandra Reece in an op-ed (H2 on OpedNews).

Weiner and Reece begin, “When it comes to ransomware, presidents Biden and Putin are blindly shooting around each other instead of taking aim and making change because neither can admit just how involved both countries are.”

They continue, “The Biden-Putin meeting in June placed restrictions on ransomware and cyberattacks but hackers are already pushing those limits. An attempted Russian companies’ attack on the Republican National Committee and on 1500 U.S. companies are just the most recent in the next line of cyberattacks that will continue to “test the red lines” that were put in place.”

Weiner and Reece assert, “President Biden should ask Putin if he will support a special World Summit on Cyber and Ransomware Blackmail Attacks. The issue is critical and in the “mutual interest” both said they could take actions against. Until then, both sides are involved and currently stuck in a never-ending destructive spiral, together with the rest of the world.”

They write, “The rest of the world is heavily involved. The U.S, India, Poland and South Africa aren’t just part of an Olympics lineup – they are listed in a 2020 survey by IT security company SOPHOS as four of at least 26 countries hurt by ransomware attacks.”

They argue, “Ransomware is much more than a U.S-Russia problem. SOPHOS lists 26 countries in their survey:

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, U.A.E, U.K, U.S.”

They assert, “While Russia and the U.S. can start the discussion, a minimum of those 24 other countries need to be there, too. 26 countries represent billions of people spanning six continents that should be involved in ransomware discussions. The meeting should also utilize companies like FireEye, Norton and McAfee, all who have developed solutions to thwart cyberattacks and are continuing their “end-to-end” ongoing research into possible protections.”

They write, “In interviews before and following the hours of summit discussions between presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin at the June 16 summit, Putin expressed interest in a prisoner swap between their countries, saying “yes, of course.”

“Responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory,” Biden said.

They contend, “The U.S. isn’t innocent when it comes to ransomware. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers described the Stuxnet virus attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as “nothing more than a long string of computer code” that crippled thousands of machines.”

They continue, “General Michael Hayden, former CIA director under former President G. W. Bush, made an appearance on “60 Minutes” and spilled their secrets about Stuxnet and the Pandora’s box it opened on television.”

“We have entered into a new phase of conflict,” Hayden said.

They write, “In 2017, Russia was hurt from a cyberattack using stolen NSA software. Hospitals, railroads and police departments froze as records and data were held hostage.”

“The majority of cyber attacks are made from the U.S. territory,” claimed Putin, but Russia isn’t any better – their cyberattacks against the U.S. and other countries are ongoing.

They continue,” Putin has, of course, heavily denied any knowledge of or involvement in ransomware attacks like the early June attack against Colonial Pipeline.”

They assert, “That attack brought Colonial’s control of half of the East Coast’s oil supplies to a screeching halt. Attempts to avoid paying the 75 Bitcoin ransom, worth around $4.3 million, by shutting down became pointless as they paid less than a week later.”

They go on, “Colonial Pipeline publicly stated they stood by their decisions to shut down and pay, and the Department of Justice recovered some later, but the damage was done.”

They continue, “When asked if he was briefed on the payment, Biden said he had “no comment.” That, of course, meant yes.”

They write, “The FBI encourages ransomware victims not to pay, but many feel they have no choice and will pay anything. Former Secretary of Homeland Security under former President Obama, Jeh Johnson, said, “when payments requested are low like the $5 million from Colonial, people just pay it.”

They argue, “Advising victims to not pay makes sense – they want to avoid giving hackers confidence to continue or ask for more money later. But with no real ways to counteract ransomware threats the precedent has been set already.”

“Pay attention now… failure to do so could be the difference between being secure now – or a victim later,” the DOJ Deputy Attorney General said in a statement.

They assert, “Paying attention doesn’t help. The Washington Post reports ransomware attacks have increased 300% in 2021. The FBI estimates that over 4,000 cyber-attacks have occured every day since 2016 and 304 million attacks in 2020 alone.”

They continue, “The victims are dozens of police departments losing records, schools closing down, 600 hospitals and clinics being attacked and communities suffering worldwide as hackers demand payment.”

They state, “The New York Times reported that 26 American government agencies suffered a ransomware attack in 2021, three of which were police departments hit over six weeks. Another story described a local medical practice in California that closed after losing almost everything in an attack.”

They point out, “In a CNN article, Biden said he and Putin agreed on a list of 16 “out of bounds” critical infrastructures.”

Weiner and Reece conclude, “If Biden– and Putin– mean what they say, this is a clear case of working in “joint interest” of not just both countries, but the world.”

Link to article:

Robert Weiner and Ben Lasky
Weiner Public News
+1 202-306-1200
email us here

You just read:

News Provided By

July 27, 2021, 18:59 GMT

EIN Presswire’s priority is source transparency. We do not allow opaque clients, and our editors try to be careful about weeding out false and misleading content. As a user, if you see something we have missed, please do bring it to our attention. Your help is welcome. EIN Presswire, Everyone’s Internet News Presswire™, tries to define some of the boundaries that are reasonable in today’s world. Please see our Editorial Guidelines for more information.