The US State Department is allocating $10 million for the golden tip that leads to the arrest of six Russian hackers. The six tried last month to carry out a large-scale cyberattack on American vital infrastructure. The US wants to know where the hackers reside and who they work with.
This is reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter.
Damage runs into the hundreds of millions
The US government is searching for six Russian hackers. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they work for the Russian military intelligence service GRU. Would have tried in the past to seriously disrupt society with the infamous NotPetya malware.
In 2017, this ransomware shut down the port of Rotterdam. As a result, the supply and export of goods with the European mainland came to a complete standstill. NotPetya caused damage between 300 and 450 million euros. For example, 30,000 computers had to be replaced. The same malware then prevented the transport and energy company Maersk from processing goods for weeks in Denmark. The loss amounted to 200 million euros.
NotPetya also caused a lot of misery and financial damage in the US. The damage caused to hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry caused by malware is estimated at $1 billion.
The Russian hackers are suspected of this
At the end of 2020, the Justice Department indicted the six Russian hackers for cyberattacks on American targets. The six have also reportedly conducted spear-phishing campaigns against athletes participating in the 2017 Winter Olympics, South Korean staff and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They are said to have developed the Olympic Destroyer Malware to screw up the opening ceremony of the Winter Games.
Furthermore, according to the minister, the hackers have launched spearphishing campaigns against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and are trying to torpedo the British investigation into the death of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. They are also held responsible for a spear-phishing campaign in 2018 and 2019 against business and political authorities in Georgia.
Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds the Russian hackers responsible for a recent large-scale cyber attack in the US. With the Cyclops Blink malware, they tried to steal sensitive data and add computers to their botnet. American and British government agencies managed to repel this attack. “We closed the door before the Russians had a chance to get in,” FBI Director Chris Wray said of the attack.
Reward up to $10 million
So the hackers have a lot on their plate. But where they currently reside and who they work with are questions that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet answered. To force a breakthrough in the investigation, the ministry is offering a reward.
If you give the golden tip that leads to the arrest of the six Russian hackers, you can collect up to 10 million dollars. The reward was announced on Tuesday evening Dutch time via the Twitter channel Rewards for Justice.
According to the US, the hackers work for GRU unit 74455. Cybersecurity experts also know this group as Sandworm, Voodoo Bear, Telebots and Iron Viking.
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