Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman at the DCCO Ransomware Virtual Conference

My name is Adrian Zuckerman. I am the U.S. Ambassador to Romania.

Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to welcome you to this webinar on combatting Ransomware attacks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This pandemic has caused great suffering for people around the world. During these challenging times, while countries are working together to solve problems, criminal organizations have used the pandemic to launch greater waves of cyber-attacks targeting governmental institutions, businesses, and our citizens.

We will not stand idly by. Rather, we stand united with Romania in defeating these cyber-attacks and prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent possible.

Indicative of this support and the strength of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership, the Embassy in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Minister of Justice Predoiu, organized this webinar. Early in our terms, the Minister and I committed to working together to undo the damage inflicted on the Rule of Law in Romania. We are working together to combat organized crime; human trafficking; and cybercrime, intellectual property theft, and corruption.

Ransomware is an insidious type of cybercrime, a crime where criminals attack computer systems, encrypting and destroying files unless the victim pays a ransom. During this pandemic, criminals have used ransomware to prey upon people and organizations, including the very hospitals treating our citizens and research facilities racing to find a cure for the Covid-19 virus.

As members of the cybercrime unit of the Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime you stand on the front lines battling this assault. You and your colleagues throughout Romanian law enforcement are to be commended for your work in keeping Romanians safe. Your efforts ensure that the criminals will be held accountable and we thank you.

I also want to thank Scott Kerin of the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property program, for doing such an amazing job of organizing this and other program. I also want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International

Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs for making this training possible. This is yet another example of the positive effects the U.S. Government can have working together with our counterparts around the world – your efforts are necessary to defeat transnational crime and help to ensure peace, stability, and safety throughout the world.

Lastly, thank you to my friend Minister of Justice Predoiu for all of his hard work and dedication in rebuilding and strengthening the Rule of Law in Romania. The task is a difficult one, but with people like him at the helm, Rule of Law will prevail in Romania.

I hope I do not embarrass my friend, Minister Predoiu, but I must tell him how genuinely proud I am of him. I am gratified by his courage, integrity, and steadfastness.

He is doing that which is right. His support for the Rule of Law, including for European International Prosecutor Laura Kovesi, is a fundamental cornerstone necessary to prevent international organized crime from further victimizing the people of Romania.

The United States and President Trump salute all the men and women of moral strength and integrity. The United States will stand with you and the people of Romania in and support you with all available resources in your fight to protect the Romanian people and maintain the Rule of Law. The Romanian people will not forgive or forget the cowardice and complicity of those who seek to weaken justice and the Rule of Law.

Thank you all for your work and for taking part today. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

God bless you.