USA Offers $10M Bounty for Providing Information on the Conti Ransomware Gang

As part of the Justice Awards program, the US State Department announced that a $10 million reward will be offered for information on five high-ranking Conti ransomware members, including the first reveal of one of the members’ face.

The program is a State Department program with monetary rewards for information on threat actors that affect the national security of the United States.

The program was initiated in the first place to gather information about terrorists targeting US interests. It was later expanded to offer rewards for information on cybercriminals such as Russian Sandworm hackers, REvil ransomware, and the Evil Corp hacking group.

Today, the State Department unveiled the face of the Conti ransomware operator, known for the first time as the target, and announced a reward of up to $10 million to anyone who reveals information about him and four other members known as ‘Tramp’, ‘Dandis’, ‘Professor’ and ‘Reshaev’.

Conti Ransomware is believed to be responsible for more than 1,000 attacks worldwide and has received over $50 million in ransom payments.

After the group rebranded from Ryuk to Conti in the summer of 2020, the ransomware gang has attacked high-profile institutions including the City of Tulsa, Broward County Public Schools, Advantech and the Irish Health Service Executive and Department of Health.

But as a result of their siding with Russia in the invasion of Ukraine, a Ukrainian security researcher has leaked more than 170,000 internal chats between members of the Conti ransomware gang and the source code of the Conti ransomware encryptor. This data breach is known as ‘Conti Leaks’.

In addition to the shutdown of the Conti ransomware brand after the data breach, internal interviews also helped cybersecurity researchers and law enforcement quickly identify who was responsible for the operation and their responsibilities.

Some members of the group are individuals who played a key role in the operation and are currently targeted under the Rewards for Justice program.

The Conti ransomware brand has been shut down. But members are still fully active and active in other ransomware operations and extortion groups.

Therefore, the Justice Department’s program aims to prevent potential attacks by persuading people, including Russians who recognize Target’s image, to offer tips for a million-dollar prize.

Announcing the new awards for the first time, Wired said the State Department is looking for members’ physical locations, vacation, and travel plans. To send a tip, the State Department has set up a special Tor SecureDrop server that can be used to anonymously send information about wanted Conti members.

 

References:

https://twitter.com/RFJ_USA/status/1557804081552523267

https://www.wired.com/story/conti-group-ransomware-members-reward-target/