Russia excluded from international convention on cybercrime

par Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia has not been invited to participate in a 30-nation virtual meeting organized by the United States on the fight against cybercrime, a US administration official said.

According to private cyber security experts, several gangs using ransomware – viruses that block computers until a ransom is paid – operate from Ukraine and Russia. The latter would act with the tacit approval of the Kremlin, but without being directly controlled by the Russian government, US officials and analysts said.

“We are in active discussions with the Russians, but they have not been invited to participate in this particular forum,” the official said, adding that Russia was not excluded from future events.

A group of Russian and American experts (the US-Kremlin expert group) formed by the presidents of both countries and led by the White House is working directly on the issue of “ransomware” attacks, he explained.

He added that the United States has already shared information about specific criminal actors in Russia and the country has taken the first steps to tackle the issue.

Outside the United States, India, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom will participate in discussions on topics such as acts of destabilization, virtual currency and diplomacy.

France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, Ireland, Israel, South Africa and the European Union will also participate in the conference.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington, with contributions from Chris Bing; French edition Dagmarah Macos, edited by Jean-Michel Bellot)

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