State Department offers $10 million reward for identification of Conti ransomware gang leaders

The State Department is providing a reward of as much as $10 million for info that helps establish or find the leaders of the Conti ransomware gang that has victimized Americans.

The division is dangling an extra $5 million for info that ends in the arrest or conviction of anybody making an attempt to take part in a Conti cyberattack anyplace on the earth.

“The Conti ransomware group has been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price mentioned Friday in a press release. “The FBI estimates that as of January 2022, there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding $150,000,000, making the Conti ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented.”

Conti was first noticed in December 2019, in keeping with cybersecurity firm DomainTools, and it has gained notoriety within the U.S. The FBI issued an alert in May 2021 saying it found 16 Conti ransomware assaults concentrating on U.S. well being care and first-responder networks inside the earlier yr.

The ransomware group’s targets are usually not unique to the U.S. According to the State Department, Conti is chargeable for a ransomware assault in opposition to Costa Rica’s authorities final month.

Conti additionally sided with the Russian authorities in February in its invasion of Ukraine. The group posted a message on-line siding with Russia earlier than altering the message to stroll again its specific assist for Russia.

Internal communications of the gang subsequently leaked, with hypothesis suggesting {that a} Ukrainian ransomware operator who disagreed with the gang’s Russian sympathizers was chargeable for the revelation.

Included within the leaked inside chats have been some clues that Russia might have affect over the group’s members. Christo Grozev, Russia investigator on the watchdog group Bellingcat, tweeted that the leaked information led his crew to conclude that Conti focused a Bellingcat contributor on the course of the FSB, Russia’s Federal Security Service. 

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