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Joint Statement by Quad on Ransomware

More on the Statement

  • The Foreign Ministers have announced their decision to act against malicious cyber activity against critical infrastructure.
  • The statement appreciated the progress made by the 36 countries supporting the US-led Counter Ransomware Initiative and the regular, practical-oriented consultations against cybercrime in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Support to tackle ransomware:
    • The Quad partners have pledged to assist each other in ensuring the security and resilience of regional cyber infrastructure against ransomware.
    • Quad countries have announced their support to regional initiatives to enhance the capacity of countries to implement the UN Framework for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace.
  • Multi-stakeholder approach:
    • They stressed on multi-stakeholder approach for counter-ransomware capacity building, including promoting the role of existing mechanisms such as the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.
    • The multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance will uphold shared values in the design and use of technologies and cyberspace across the region.
  • Address cybercrime:
    • New treaty: The alliance has welcomed negotiations of a possible new UN cybercrime convention that can address cybercrime more broadly which will have utility in countering ransomware.
    • A new treaty has to be drafted in a technologically neutral and flexible manner, which does not criminalize specific technologies.



  • Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands ransom payment to restore access to the user.
  • Ransomware attackers have targeted organisations of all sizes, regardless of their location.
  • The global economic losses from ransomware, especially due to payments reached over USD 400 million globally in 2020.


Types of Ransomwares

  • Crypto ransomware: It encrypts the victim’s file and promises to restore access after the payment of certain amount in ransom.
  • Leaking ransomware: Also called leakware, it threatens to publish stolen information from the victim’s computer system rather than deny the victim access to it.
  • Scareware: It is a type of malware tactic that manipulates victims into downloading or buying potentially malware-infested software.
  • Locker ransomware: Locker ransomware shuts down the entire computer or mobile device. Victims have to pay a ransom to release the computer or mobile device.

Ransomware in News:

  • WannaCry, Pettya, SamSam, Ryuk, Lapsus$, Hive, REvil.

Counter Ransomware Initiative

  • International Counter Ransomware Initiative is a US-led group to counter ransomware threats. Under the initiative, discussions on ransomware will be lead by four countries:
    • India – resilience (strengthening resilience to withstand ransomware attacks)
    • Australia – disruption (disrupt ransomware infrastructure and participants)
    • UK – virtual currency (abuse of virtual currency for ransom laundering)
    • Germany – diplomacy (leveraging international cooperation to destroy the ransomware ecosystem and address safe harbours for cyber criminals)
  • UN Framework for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace
    • They are 11 voluntary and non-binding rules that describe what states should and should not be doing in cyberspace.
    • The objectives of the norms are to reduce risks to international peace and security, and to contribute to conflict prevention.

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