Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI)

​​​​​​​​​​Australia is a founding member of the Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI), a US-led initiative established in 2021 to combat the growing threat of ransomware. It aims to build cross-border resilience and collectively disrupt and defend against malicious cyber actors through concerted international cooperation.

The CRI comprises more than 50 member states and organisations and is structured into three pillars – the International Counter Ransomware Taskforce (ICRTF), the Policy Pillar, and the Diplomacy and Capacity-Building (DCB) Pillar.

The Policy Pillar, led by the UK and Singapore, undertakes policy research and produces recommendations on ransomware-related topics with the CRI. A key outcome of the work of the Policy Pillar in 2023 was a joint statement  of the CRI Summit in Washington, D.C. that endorsed national governments not paying ransomware demands to cybercriminals – marking an important step in international counter ransomware efforts.

The Diplomacy and Capacity Building Pillar is led by Germany and Nigeria. It is responsible for on-boarding new members to the CRI and facilitating the participation of CRI members in capacity building initiatives.​​

The ICRTF,  co-​chaired by Australia and Lithuania, focuses on delivering projects aimed at delivering practical tools to build resilience against malicious cyber actors and disrupt ransomware.

Australia has also developed a website for the CRI – where a list of members can be found. See https://counter-ransomware.org/aboutus.

International Counter Ransomware Task Force (ICRTF)

On 2 November 2022, the Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Hon Clare O’Neil announced Australia through the Department of Home Affairs would Chair an International Counter Ransomware Task Force (ICRTF). On 12 March 2024, Australia welcomed Lithuania as co-chair of the ICRTF on 12 March 2024​. ​

As the co-chair of the ICRTF, the Department of Home Affairs facilitates various projects that support the translation of research and policy discussions that feeds into:

  • information sharing of cyber threat intelligence
  • creation of cross-sectoral tools
  • collective best practice for countering ransomware.

For more information, read the news article Global task force to fight ransomware commences operations​.

Read more information about the initiative below:

To read about what the CRI is doing to combat ransomware threats visit: International Counter Ransomware Initiative Members Come Together to Strongly Discourage Ransomware Payments.

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