U.S., Israel announce cybersecurity joint task force

The announcement follows the virtual White House Counter-Ransomware Initiative meeting last month.

Updated: November 14, 2021 - 10:06pm

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The U.S. Treasury Department and the Israeli Ministry of Finance will work together to address cybersecurity and ransomware issues, officials announced Sunday.

The goal of the task force is "to protect critical financial infrastructure and emerging technologies and expand international cooperation to counter the threat ransomware poses to countries and the global economy," according to a Treasury Department statement.

"Harnessing both the power of international cooperation and of technology innovation will position us to support economic competitiveness, prosperity, and to combat global threats including ransomware," Israeli Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.

"As the global economy recovers and ransomware and other illicit finance threats present a grave challenge to Israel and the United States, increased information exchanges, joint work, and collaboration on policy, regulation, and enforcement are critical to our economic and national security objectives."

The U.S. and Israel will create a memorandum of understanding, which would support sharing information in the financial sector regarding issues such as incidents and threat intelligence, cybersecurity guidance, and staff training and other activities.

The announcement follows the virtual Counter-Ransomware Initiative meeting the While House held in October with the European Union and more than 30 other countries, including Israel.

During the meeting, "Adeyemo underscored the importance of international cooperation to address the abuse of virtual currency and disrupt the ransomware business model," the Treasury Department said.