US offers $10m bounty to find the hackers responsible for Colonial Pipeline hack

The US government has put a $10m bounty on the cybercriminals who hacked the system of the Colonial Pipeline back in May of this year.

Operations at the Colonial Pipeline were brought to a standstill earlier this year following a ransomware cyberattack by the DarkSide group that affected some of its IT systems. A week later, the DarkSide ransomware group shut down and went offline.

According to Security Week, the US State Department is also offering a reward of up to $5m for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction in any country of any individual who conspired to participate in or attempted to participate in a DarkSide variant ransomware incident. The rewards are being offered under the Department of State’s Transnational Organised Crime Rewards Program.

The Department said in a statement, “In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals. The United States looks to nations who harbour ransomware criminals that are willing to bring justice for those victim businesses and organizations affected by ransomware.”

This reward comes off the back of a recent law enforcement operation against the REvil ransomware gang, where the Tor servers associated with REvil were seized in what was called a ‘multi-country’ hack-back operation. The operation was carried out by a foreign partner of the US government.

Security Week noted that the US government recently identified around $5.2bn in outgoing Bitcoin transactions that are possibly linked to ransomware payments, mostly to cybercriminal groups in Eastern Europe.

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