US Offers $10 Million Reward To DarkSide Hackers

The United States on Thursday announced a $10 million reward to help find the leaders of the high-profile DarkSide ransomware ring, the latest attempt by authorities to combat cyber extortion attacks.

Washington blamed the Russia-based group for the cyber attack that shut down the largest pipeline in the eastern United States in May.

Ransomware attacks are done by exploiting vulnerabilities of a company or individual to encrypt and lock their computer systems and then demand a ransom to unlock it.

“By offering this reward, the United States is demonstrating its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world,” the State Department said in a statement.

Washington also offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction, in any country, of those attempting to join DarkSide in carrying out an attack.

Despite the lure of the money offered, some cybersecurity experts believe that bounties are not effective in exposing hackers.

“Without a bounty hunter willing to travel to his jurisdiction (which is owned by a hacker, ndlr), put his body unconscious, and then place it in the nearest US embassy, ​​I doubt this would have much effect,” he said, John Bambenek. From Netenrich, a company specializing in computer science and security operations.

And to be honest, offering this bonus ‘won’t hurt either,’ he adds.

Internet crimes are on the increase. According to new data released in October, in the first half of 2021, US authorities were notified of $590 million in payments related to ransomware.

The number is 42% higher than all of 2020, according to a report from the US Treasury, and there are strong indications that the true cost may be in the billions.

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