The Quad is committed to open and secure cyberspace and has the collective will to fight ransomware threats to the cyber-infrastructure that enables Indo-Pacific economic development and security, a joint statement read.
"We are committed to an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful cyberspace and support regional initiatives to enhance the capacity of countries to implement the UN Framework for Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, the statement read and added, "The Ministers signal our collective will to fight ransomware threats to the cyber infrastructure that enables Indo-Pacific economic development and security."
Quad Foreign Ministers of Australia, India, Japan and the US, met in New York on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). They reaffirmed the Quad's commitment to supporting Indo-Pacific countries' advancement of a free and open Indo-Pacific, "which is inclusive and rules-based."
"We commit to further cooperate on capacity-building programmes and initiatives that are aimed at enhancing regional cybersecurity and improve resilience against ransomware attacks in the Indo-Pacific."
Recalling the last Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting on February 11, 2022, they committed to addressing the global threat of ransomware, which has been an obstacle to Indo-Pacific economic development and security. "The transnational nature of ransomware can adversely affect our national security, finance sector and business enterprise, critical infrastructure, and the protection of personal data," the statement added.
They said that they stand for focused initiatives for enhancing the cyber capabilities of Indo-Pacific countries that would ensure the security and resilience of regional cyber infrastructure.
Quad Foreign Affairs Ministers also appreciated the progress made by the 36 countries supporting the US-led Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI) and the regular, practical-oriented consultations against cybercrime in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Ministers call on states to take reasonable steps to address ransomware operations emanating from within their territory. "We exercise responsibility to assist each other in the face of malicious cyber activity, including from ransomware, against critical infrastructure," Quad ministers' joint readout noted.
The Ministers highlighted that practical cooperation in countering ransomware among Indo-Pacific partners would result in denying safe haven to ransomware actors in the region. They stressed that the focus is on results-oriented efforts to assist partners across the Indo-Pacific to strengthen their resilience, trust, and confidence in cyberspace, and effective incident-response capabilities.
They further underscored the importance of the multistakeholder approach to building the counter-ransomware capacity building including promoting the role of existing mechanisms such as the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE).
Ministers recognized the multistakeholder approach to internet governance will uphold our shared values in the design and use of technologies and cyberspace across our region.
"We welcome the negotiations of a possible new UN cybercrime convention as a long-term means to address cybercrime more broadly which will have utility in countering ransomware. We underscore the need for a new treaty to be drafted in a technologically neutral and flexible manner, which does not describe specific technologies or criminal methodologies," it added. (ANI)