US introduces ransomware safety site, offers incentives for hacker tips

The US government has unveiled a new website designed to provide businesses with greater knowledge of the threat posed by ransomware to their companies.

According to Bleeping Computer, the website – named – is meant as a central platform for information about ransomware gathered from all federal government agencies, such as guidance, latest alerts and updates and resources.

 The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said, “ includes resources and content from DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services.”

The challenges posed by ransomware have exploded recently, with the recent REvil attack of US IT provider Kaseya affecting over 1,000 companies – an attack described as one of the biggest in history. There has been other recent notable attacks on the Colonial Pipeline, food processing giant JBS Foods and US nuclear weapons contractor Sol Oriens.

Meanwhile, the US government has also revealed it is offering a reward of up to $10m for information on operations conducted by threat actors working for a foreign government.

The US Department of Justice highlighted that its Rewards for Justice program – in operation since 1984 – will now incentivise reports of foreign malicious activity against critical infrastructure in the US.

The reward is intended for details that can help identify and locate any individual that acts on behalf of a foreign power in malicious cyber operations. The actions may involve extortion as part of a ransomware attack, the stealing of information from protected systems as well as knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code or command and as a result, causing damage without authorisation to a protected computer.

Bleeping Computer highlighted that the payment ‘may be enough to encourage hackers involved in attacks affecting critical infrastructure in the US to turn on each other’ and secure themselves a pay-out.

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