When the White House convenes a summit on countering ransomware Wednesday, 30 nations will join the United States to discuss issues related to cracking down on the cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks. But one particular country will be notably absent: Russia.
“We did not invite the Russians to participate,” a senior administration official said on a briefing call Tuesday with reporters, citing “a host of reasons,” such as “various constraints.” The official did not go into detail.
Following a flurry of ransomware attacks that have crippled U.S. entities, senior administration officials have lambasted Russia for turning a blind eye to ransomware gangs that have operated within its borders for years. The cyberattacks, which leave victims’ computers locked up unless companies pay hefty ransoms to faceless criminals, have in recent months hit a critical pipeline on the East Coast—leaving Americans queuing up for fuel—as well as a meat supplier, a grain co-op, hospitals, and countless schools.