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

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

Under the scheme, which happens beneath the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, payouts will undoubtedly be awarded for the identity or location of anybody who, “while acting at the direction or beneath 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 usage of a protected computer with intention to steal sensitive data, and intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer.

The program has set up a reporting channel accessible on the dark web to greatly help protect the safety and security of potential sources.

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

Additional information on the best way to access the Tor-based reporting channel are available in the release.

In the pipeline

The offer of an incentive comes whilst the US continues to have cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure that have caused chaos throughout the nation.

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

Attackers leveraging DarkSide malware demanded $4.3 million in bitcoin – a sum which 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 better degree of sophistication throughout their next attacks, whether that be via training, new tooling, purchasing credentials, world market onion or recruitment.

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