US Offers $10 Million for Info Leading to Arrest of Conti Ransomware Operators

Bitdefender Internet Security Software

The US Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of the operators of the Conti ransomware-as-a-service.

“The Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10,000,000 for information leading to the identification and/or location of any individual(s) who hold a key leadership position in the Conti ransomware variant transnational organized crime group,” the fed announced.

A separate $5 million reward is up for grabs for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual, in any country, tied to the group– even those who merely attempted to participate in an attack.

The Conti ransomware group has been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years, with the FBI estimating that, as of January 2022, over 1,000 entities had been victimized by Conti.

Victim payouts are said to exceed $150 million, making Conti the costliest strain of ransomware in history.

“In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting potential ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals,” the department said. “We look to partner with nations willing to bring justice for those victims affected by ransomware.”

The FBI strongly advises victims of Conti to refrain from paying ransom, as it encourages more ransomware incidents and provides an incentive to become involved in this type of activity.

In February, a Ukrainian security researcher leaked tens of thousands of message logs from Conti internal gang chats after the group announced they were siding with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.