July 5, 2022

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United States and EU Foster Cooperation Against Ransomware Attacks

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<div>Ransomware has become a global problem that requires cooperation on a worldwide level.</div>

Ransomware has become a global problem that requires cooperation on a worldwide level. Judicial experts and practitioners from the United States and the European Union participated in a two-day workshop in The Hague organized by the U.S. Department of Justice and Eurojust. The event aimed to share best practices and enhance collaboration in confronting ransomware attacks.

The event was opened by Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

Assistant Attorney General Polite said: “Only by working together with key law enforcement and prosecutorial partners in the EU can we effectively combat the threat that ransomware poses to our society. I am confident that the U.S.-EU ransomware workshop will spur greater coordination and collaboration to address the ransomware threat.”

Man presents from behind podium

Eurojust President Hamran said: “There is no doubt that the scale, sophistication and impact of ransomware attacks is significant, affecting all sectors of the economy and society at large. We warmly welcome the opportunity to join forces with our U.S. colleagues in combating this form of crime. Through this week’s workshop, we are fostering closer cooperation not only between national authorities, but also between the public and the private sector. I am convinced that this will prove to be crucial in our efforts to protect our citizens against online and offline threats.”

Man stands behind podium and grips the side as he speaks to those not pictured

The workshop, organized by the U.S. Department of Justice and Eurojust, brought together more than 100 prosecutors, law enforcement representatives and experts from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations, representing 27 countries. It took place on June 15 and 16 at Eurojust’s premises and online.

Participants attended a series of presentations and panel discussions on topics such as transnational cooperation on ransomware investigations, victim remediation, and prosecution of criminal organizations. 

Attorneys from the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), representatives from the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), European Judicial Cybercrime Network, Eurojust’s Cybercrime Team and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre shared their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned in directing an investigation to a successful outcome including collaborating with the tech and private sector. Law enforcement officers also discussed adversaries’ tactics and the latest investigative techniques. 

Prosecutors additionally discussed relevant changes in the law, including issues related to electronic evidence, charging options, and cross-border considerations.  Private sector and nongovernmental organization representatives included the CyberPeace institute, Microsoft and Bitdefender.

A recording of the opening remarks is available on the Eurojust YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/cQLTg0x5fhI for Assistant Attorney General Polite and https://youtu.be/3bfUvl4rZmc for Eurojust President Hamran.

Learn more about the Criminal Division’s International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Program, jointly administered by the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training and CCIPS, here.

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