The U.S. Treasury Department and Israel's Ministry of Finance will cooperate to share information and technology to counter ransomware attacks and address fintech and cryptocurrency issues as part of a new "U.S.-Israeli Task Force on Fintech Innovation and Cybersecurity."
The partnership, announced Nov. 14 by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, is intended to help protect infrastructure in both countries from increasingly frequent and crippling ransomware attacks, as well as help establish shared international standards for regulating and securing cryptocurrency and other emerging financial technologies.
The Biden administration has taken an aggressive stance on ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity concerns. The Department of Justice said last week it has charged Ukrainian 22-year-old Yaroslav Vasinskyi, along with still at-large Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin, for helping orchestrate the REvil ransomware attack that infected Florida-based IT firm Kaseya. The DOJ also said last month it will treat ransomware with the same priority level as terrorism, and the State Department is creating a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy.
The State Department has also attempted to force the Russian government to address the fact that many ransomware attacks on U.S. companies and infrastructure seem to originate from state-sponsored hackers there, but sanctions and warnings from the Biden White House seem to have done little to slow the increasing rate of attacks, according to a Microsoft report last month.