For the golden tip that leads to the discovery of the ransomware group DarkSide, the US State Department is willing to pay ten million dollars. The ministry announced this in an official statement last Thursday.
The ten million is only meant for the tip that leads directly to the leaders of this group. For information about other potential members of the group, the ministry is willing to pay up to five million dollars.
The United States (US) pays this reward from the so-called Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP). This program was established in 2013 to round up international criminal organizations. Before that, it existed in the form of the Narcotics Rewards Program.
The hacker group
DarkSide is the ransomware group that was responsible for the hack on the Colonial Pipeline in May 2021. This hack caused the company to temporarily shut down the pipeline. As a result, 45 per cent of the fuel in the US East Coast was not transported.
The other hacker group involved in the Colonial Pipeline hack was REvil. The US managed to ‘hack back ‘ this group at the beginning of October. They did this by getting their hands on the Tor servers the group used.
REvil used a DarkSide data encryption tool for the hack. The next step for the US is to tackle DarkSide itself.
If you have information
Persons outside the US can contact the local US embassy or consulate with information about the hacker groups.
If it turns out that the safety of the informant is at risk, the TOCRP will protect him. Individuals who work for the United States government are not eligible for the award.
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