US offers $15 million reward for info on the Conti ransomware gang

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The US Department of State is offering a reward of $15 million for information that helps to identify and locate the leaders of the Russia-based Conti ransomware gang.

Up to $10 million of this reward are offered for information about Conti leaders’ identity and location, and $5 million for info that leads to the arrest and/or convictions of individuals who conspired or attempted to participate in Conti ransomware attacks.

Conti ransomware has hit more than 1,000 victims who paid ransoms of over $150 million until January 2022, which makes the Conti Ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented.

According to a statement issued by State Department spokesman Ned Price, the Conti ransomware group was responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years.

The rewards are offered as part of the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP). Since 1986, the Department has paid over $135 million in rewards under this program.

Those who can provide this information can submit tips to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov or using the FBI’s Electronic Tip Form.

Conti is a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operation linked to the Russian-speaking Wizard Spider cybercrime group also known for other malware such as Ryuk, TrickBot, and BazarLoader.

The cybercrime gang’s victims include Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) and its Department of Health (DoH).

According to various analysts, Conti is now managing various side businesses meant to sustain its ransomware operations or pay for initial network access when needed.One such side operation is the recently emerged Karakurt data extortion group which was linked to Conti by researchers from Advanced Intelligence, Infinitum, Arctic Wolf, Northwave, and Chainalysis, as the gang’s data extortion arm.

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