Conti: US government announces bounty on hackers

In this post:

  • US government announces reward to catch Conti hackers
  • The group has been operating since 2020
  • Conti hit Costa Rica weeks ago

The United States has announced a $15 million bounty on information that will lead to the apprehension of the Conti ransomware group. According to the report, the government of the US has set aside two distinct rewards that will go out to help the cause. In the information provided, any individual that aids in locating or the arrest of the gang members would be liable to earn rewards of up to $10 million. In the same vein, any individual with information on criminal elements aiding the group will also be rewarded with about $5 million.

The group has been operating since 2020

According to the report, the reward was announced via the Crime Rewards Program of the state department. Also, the statement mentioned that the rewards are also open to everybody worldwide, provided they had a hand in the apprehension and arrest of the criminal elements. Ransomware has been rampant across America in the last few years.

The hackers’ modus operandi is to breach and seize sensitive data and documents belonging to firms and governments. The hackers then dictate that a sum of money is being paid via either fiat or digital assets before they can return control or the sensitive information to the hacked party. In a Chainalysis report, ransomware attacks grew to over $692 million in 2020, with the total amount paid to regain control of account put at around $600 million last year.

Conti hits Costa Rica in a ransomware attack

Although the hack is still prevalent, it also shows that the amount paid to the hackers is undergoing a massive decline. The report also looked into the group with the most cash inflow through malicious means, with Conti topping with a gigantic $180 million generated in 2021. Reports claim that the Conti group has been in the business since 2020, with the group armed with more than 300 members in strategic locations across the world.

In a leaked document from the group, they have specialized built software to carry out these activities with ease. Some weeks ago, Conti hit Costa Rica, seizing the sensitive information from several departments in the country. The group at the time asked that $10 million be forwarded to its account to return the documents.

According to cyber analysts, the group has a sophisticated defense mechanism and works in a well-organized structure. Research into them showed that they had an operating office outside Russia, carrying out basic activities like an everyday firm. Most people have debunked the rumors, citing that they could not have an office in Russia without the express approval of the regulatory agency in the country.

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