The US State Department is continuing its offensive against ransomware groups, announcing an up to $10 million reward for any information “leading to the identification or location of any individuals holding key leadership positions in the DarkSide ransomware variant transnational organized crime group.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price added that there is a $5 million reward “for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction in any country of any individual conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in a DarkSide variant ransomware incident.”
“The DarkSide ransomware group was responsible for the Colonial Pipeline Company ransomware incident in May 2021, which led to the company’s decision to proactively and temporarily shut down the 5,500-mile pipeline that carries 45 percent of the fuel used on the East Coast of the United States,” Price said.
“In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals. The United States looks to nations who harbor ransomware criminals that are willing to bring justice for those victim businesses and organizations affected by ransomware.”
The financial rewards are part of the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program and the State Department noted that it has paid $135 million in