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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

Go deeper

Iranian nationals charged with spreading election disinformation, threatening voters

FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A federal grand jury in New York indicted two Iranian nationals on charges related to a cyber-based disinformation campaign to "undermine voter confidence" and "sow discord" in the 2020 election.

Why it matters: The indictment, unsealed Thursday, alleges that the hackers claimed to be members of the Proud Boys and sent messages to thousands of voters threatening them with "physical injury" if they didn't vote for former President Donald Trump.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
39 mins ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."

3 hours ago - Health

Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data from South Africa suggests the Omicron variant spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta variant, and that immunity from prior infection doesn't appear to protect a person very well against Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The findings are extremely preliminary, and there are still many open questions about how well vaccines work against the variant. But these initial breadcrumbs of data are helping the world begin to understand what it's up against.