Nov 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

State Department offers $10 million for information on cybercriminal group DarkSide

State Department sign.
Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The State Department is offering up to $10 million for information regarding the identification or location of senior members of DarkSide, a global cybercrime organization.

Why it matters: DarkSide is responsible for a ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline in May and led to fuel shortages in multiple states.

The big picture: The State Department is also offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any person attempting to participate in a DarkSide ransomware incident.

  • "In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals," the department said in a statement.
  • Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount told the Wall Street Journal he authorized a $4.4 million ransom payment to the DarkSide on May 7. He later defended his decision to pay hackers in front of a Senate panel in June.
  • The Justice Department recovered $2.3 million worth of cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers.

Go deeper: What to know about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

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