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US authorities are offering $10 million for information on nation-state cyber-attacks

US authorities are offering up to $10 million in cryptocurrency for information leading to the identification of state-sponsored cyber-attackers.

Underneath the scheme, which happens under the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, payouts will be awarded for the identity or location of anyone who, “while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participates in malicious cyber activities against US critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

A media release states that violations include threats made during ransomware attacks, unauthorized use of a protected computer with intention to steal sensitive data, and intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer.

This program has put up a reporting channel accessible on the dark web to simply help protect the safety and security of potential sources.

“Reward payments may include payments in cryptocurrency,” said the Department of State.

More information on how best to access the Tor-based reporting channel is found in the release.

In the pipeline

The offer of a reward comes because the US continues to see cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure that have caused chaos throughout the nation.

In May this year, a ransomware attack on gas supplier Colonial Pipeline stop services to multiple states on the east coast.

Attackers leveraging DarkSide malware demanded $4.3 million in bitcoin – a sum that was reportedly paid out by the company.

Security professionals previously told The Daily Swig that in paying ransoms, organizations risk perpetuating a “feedback loop of malicious activity” that “allows the groups to achieve a greater degree of sophistication in their next attacks, whether that be via training, world market onion ( new tooling, purchasing credentials, or recruitment.

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