The U.S. government announced a reward of $10 million for information that may lead to the identification or arrest of members of the DarkSide ransomware group or any of its rebrands.
The State Department is also offering bounties of up to $5 million for intel and tip-offs that could result in the arrest and/or conviction in any country of individuals who are conspiring or attempting to participate in intrusions affiliated with the transnational organized crime syndicate.
This reward will also apply to DarkSide rebrands, including the ransomware gang’s most recent BlackMatter operation.
This reward is offered as part of the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP).
By offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals.
The development comes in response to DarkSide’s high-profile attack on Colonial Pipeline in May 2021, that took down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. and disrupted fuel supply to the East Coast. The hackers managed to get entry into the company’s networks using a compromised virtual private network (VPN) account password that was circulating in the dark web.
After the attacks, the DarkSide group shut down its operations on May 17, citing a mysterious law enforcement seizure of its online attack infrastructure. They then tried to resurrect themselves in the form of BlackMatter, but had to close again due to pressure from local authorities and the disappearance of a part of its members last month.
Image Credits : Bleeping Computer