Aust cyber firm makes cut for White House ransomware summit

Australian cybersecurity firm Internet 2.0 is one of only 10 companies to have been hand-picked for a two-day summit convened by the United States government to tackle the growing threat of ransomware globally.

Representatives from the Canberra-based company will join world leaders attending the Second International Countering Ransomware Initiative summit in Washington D.C. this week (Wednesday AEDT), alongside other largely US and German-headquartered firms.

It will be the first time that the private sector has been invited to take part in the discussions between 37 countries, including the Five Eyes (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and the US) and most of Europe.

Crowdstrike, Mandiant, Microsoft, Palo Alto, Flexxon, SAP, Siemens, Tata Consultancy Services and Telefonica also get a seat at the summit, as do not-for-profits Cyber Threat Alliance, Cybersecurity Coalition and Institute for Security + Technology.

Credit: Lazyllama/

Co-founded by Robert Potter and David Robinson in 2019, Internet 2.0 offers a range of cyber security solutions and advisory services. It was behind recent analysis claiming that TikTok collects “excessive” amounts of data and that its iOS app has a server connection to China.

A senior White House official said all 13 organisations had been selected due to their “unique visibility, capability, and insights”, but stressed that others firms would be approached in the future.

“We basically went across the countries participating and said, ‘Which companies do you think have good visibility and good insight for us?” And then we picked the companies that were approved on the most – or voted on by the most companies,” the official said.

Each company will “share their perspective” on what governments and the private sector should be doing to address ransomware, and how the sectors can do to work together.

“Ransomware is an issue that knows no borders and affects each of the Counter Ransomware Initiative countries – our businesses, our critical infrastructure and our citizens – and it’s only getting more challenging,” the official said.

The in-person summit will discuss the current threat environment and efforts by countries to increase resilience, disrupt cyber criminals, counter illicit finance, building private sector partnerships and strengthen global cooperation since the first virtual summit last year.

Australia is leading the working group into disruption. Other working groups are led by India and Lithuania (resilience), Singapore and the UK (virtual currency), Spain (partnerships) and Germany (diplomacy).

The federal government last year formed a cross-agency taskforce led by the Australian Federal Police to centralise law enforcement efforts against ransomware groups both in Australia and overseas.

Intelligence collected through the operation was to be used by the Australian Cyber Security Centre to disrupt ransomware operations run by offshore criminals using offensive cyber operations.

Last month, the AFP worked with the Dutch National Police to disrupt a ransomware group called Deadbolt that had infiltrated the computers of more than 15,000 people and companies in 13 countries.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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