The US Department of State is now offering rewards of up to $10 million for any information that would lead to identifying a person or group carrying out a cyberattack against US critical targets.
Recent months have been fraught with cyberattacks against various US targets, representing some of the most damaging in history. Securing the infrastructure is no longer enough, and the DOJ is looking for a more proactive stance, promising rewards of upwards of $10 million for information about attackers.
The mandate is pretty broad too, and it includes pretty much all possible cybercrimes we’ve seen in the past year from nation-backed actors and other groups.
“Violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) statute may include transmitting extortion threats as part of ransomware attacks; intentional unauthorized access to a computer or exceeding authorized access and thereby obtaining information from any protected computer; and knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer,” says the DOJ.
“Protected computers include not only US government and financial institution computer systems, but also those used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication,” it adds.
Of course, it would be difficult for anyone to come forward with such information because of its sensitive nature and links to organized crime shared by many of these groups. That’s why a Dark Web (Tor-based) tips-reporting channel has been set up, allowing informers to communicate with US authorities freely.
The new program goes so far as to include payments in cryptocurrency, although it remains to be seen how successful this program will be.