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Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking at a summit on July 13 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Jim Watson/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department said Thursday it's offering up to a $10 million reward for information to help identify or locate anyone engaged in foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activities, including ransomware operations, against critical infrastructure in the United States.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is devising a collection strategies to get ahead of cyber criminals after several U.S. businesses have been ambushed by a flood of ransomware campaigns.

  • The reward is part of the department's Rewards for Justice program, which has paid more than $200 million to people who gave information that helped prevent terrorism and resolved national security threats against the U.S.

What they're saying: The department said it has set up a website on the dark web through which potential sources can offer tips anonymously.

  • The information will then be processed and evaluated, and reward payments may include cryptocurrency, it noted.

The big picture: The White House has formed a governmental task force to coordinate measures to prevent and retaliate against ransomware operations.

  • The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security also launched a new website Thursday, StopRansomware.gov, that will serve as a centralized hub for ransomware resources for victims.
  • The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is now working with banks and tech companies to crack down on cryptocurrency money-laundering schemes and to improve the tracing of ransomware payments, according to AP.

Go deeper: Assessing the size of the Kaseya ransomware attack

Go deeper

DOJ investigating city of Phoenix and Phoenix police department

Phoenix Police confront demonstrators in 2017. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced in a press conference Thursday it is opening a "pattern or practice" investigation into the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.

Driving the news: The Justice Department's probe comes after the Biden administration reversed a Trump policy of not investigating police departments. It looks into several possible violations exhibited by the city's police department:

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

FBI says human remains found in Wyoming likely Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito. Photo: FBI

Human remains found in Teton County, Wyoming, are "consistent with the description of" missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, FBI Denver official Charles Jones said at a news conference Sunday.

Details: The cause of death had yet to be determined, but Jones said: "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery." Authorities said they're continuing the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.