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The US State Department has offered a reward of US $ 10 million (AU $ 13.5 million) for information identifying the location of one of the leaders of the DarkSide Windows ransomware gang.
The offer comes at a rather odd time, considering that the DarkSide gang, which changed its name to BlackMatter some time ago, said it was shutting down a few days ago.
DarkSide was shut down in May, according to a claim done by The record, a website funded by the CIA-backed threat intelligence firm Recorded Future.
During the days of DarkSide, the group was responsible for attacking the colonial pipeline earlier this year, which led US President Joe Biden to raise the issue of ransomware gangs operating from Russia with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said there was also an offer of US $ 5 million “for information leading to arrest and / or conviction in any country of any country. person conspiring to participate or attempting to participate in a DarkSide ransomware incident “.
âBy offering this award, the United States is demonstrating its commitment to protecting victims of ransomware around the world from exploitation by cybercriminals,â he said.
âThe United States looks to countries that harbor ransomware criminals who are ready to bring justice to the victimized businesses and organizations affected by ransomware.
“This award is offered as part of the State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program.
âThe Department manages the TOCRP in close coordination with our federal law enforcement partners as part of a whole-of-government effort to disrupt and dismantle transnational organized crime globally, including cybercrime.
âMore than 75 transnational criminals and major drug traffickers have been brought to justice under the TOCRP and the narcotics rewards program since 1986. The department has paid out over US $ 135 million in rewards to date.
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