Biden's National Security Adviser Sees Crypto Role in Cyberattacks as Priority for G-7, NATO

Jake Sullivan said the "cryptocurrency challenge ... lies at the core" of ransomware attacks.

Jun 8, 2021 at 2:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:07 p.m. UTC

Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden's national security adviser, highlighted the role of crypto in cyberattacks as a priority for the upcoming G-7 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization summits this month.

  • The "cryptocurrency challenge ... lies at the core" of how ransomware attacks play out, Sullivan said at a White House press briefing Monday.
  • Members of the Group of Seven and NATO must increase their preparedness against such attacks and share information about current threats, Sullivan said.
  • "Ransomware is a national security priority, particularly as it relates to ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure in the United States," he said.
  • Sullivan's comments follow a number of cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure, including one on Colonial Pipeline's payment systems last month that shut down a fuel pipeline that runs from Texas to New Jersey, prompting concerns of a gas shortage in a dozen states.
  • Attackers linked to the Russia-based DarkSide group were paid about $4.4 million in bitcoin, of which $2.3 million has been recovered by the FBI.
  • The G-7 summit of leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. will take place on June 11 in Cornwall, U.K., and the NATO summit will be held in Brussels on June 14.

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