A multimillion-dollar reward is being offered for information leading to the identification of senior members of ransomware gang DarkSide.
The US Department of State has announced it would offer a reward of up to US$10 million ($13.5 million) for information leading to the identification or location of any individuals holding a key leadership position in ransomware gang DarkSide.
A bounty of up to US$5 million ($6.7 million) would also be awarded for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual conspiring or attempting to participate in a DarkSide variant ransomware incident.
This follows a spate of high-profile attacks perpetrated by the ransomware group, including the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident in May 2021, which prompted the company to temporarily shut down the 5,500-mile pipeline carrying 45 per cent of the fuel used on the East Coast of the United States.
“In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“The United States looks to nations who harbour ransomware criminals that are willing to bring justice for those victim businesses and organisations affected by ransomware.”
The reward is being offered via the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP), managed in coordination with federal law enforcement partners as part of a whole government response to cyber crime.
According to the State Department, over 75 transnational criminals and major narcotics traffickers have been summoned under the TOCRP and the Narcotics Rewards Program since 1986, with more than $135 million in rewards paid for cooperation.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres