- The Washington Times - Monday, June 7, 2021

The U.S. will pursue an “action plan” at the Group of Seven meetings in the U.K. to deal with increasing ransomware attacks, the White House said Monday, arguing Western allies must develop norms for repelling hacks and responding to countries that harbor rogue actors.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said cryptocurrency “lies at the core” of how the transactions play out, so that will be a core part of the talks between President Biden and foreign partners.

“We will also speak in the NATO context about cyber threats, particularly as they related to critical infrastructure, of being a different order of magnitude,” Mr. Sullivan said of a meeting with treaty partners in Brussels. “It’s got to become a priority … We will treat it as such in the G-7, we will treat it as such in every stop of the way in this trip.”

The urgency comes after criminal organizations tied to Russia struck the Colonial Pipeline, a critical fuel artery, and JBS Foods, a major meat-processing company. Hackers also hit transportation systems in the Northeast and the Irish health service.

The White House says President Biden will raise the issue when he sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Switzerland.

Mr. Biden will depart for the G7 on Wednesday before heading to NATO meetings in Belgium and then Geneva.

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