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US announces reward of up to $10 million for information leading to DarkSide cybercrime group

According to the FBI, DarkSide was responsible for the May cyber assault on the Colonial Pipeline, which resulted in a days-long outage that caused a jump in gas prices, panic purchasing, and localised gasoline shortages in the United States Southeast.

US announces reward of up to $10 million for information leading to DarkSide cybercrime group gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Nov 5, 2021, 10:01 AM IST
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The United States State Department offered a reward of up to $10 million on Thursday for information leading to the identify or location of anybody with a major leadership role in DarkSide, a cybercrime group located in Russia, according to the FBI. According to the FBI, DarkSide was responsible for the May cyber assault on the Colonial Pipeline, which resulted in a days-long outage that caused a jump in gas prices, panic purchasing, and localised gasoline shortages in the United States Southeast.

The State Department also announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anybody attempting to participate in a DarkSide ransomware event in any nation. The government also stated that by paying this prize, the U.S. demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims worldwide from cybercriminal abuse.
Colonial Pipeline has stated that it paid the hackers roughly $5 million in Bitcoin in order to reclaim access to its systems. In June, the US Justice Department collected around $2.3 million of the ransom.

The State Department announced a $10 million prize in July for information leading to the identify or location of anybody who participates in hostile cyber operations against U.S. vital infrastructure while working at the direction or under the authority of a foreign government.

Also Read | Iran says cyberattack has caused widespread disruption at gas stations

Recently, several cyber assaults have already hit Iran, including one in July when the transport ministry's website was shut down by a "cyber disturbance," as stated by official media. Iran claims to be on high alert for cyber-attacks, which it traditionally blamed on its arch-enemies, the United States and Israel. Meanwhile, the United States and other Western nations have accused Iran of interfering with and penetrating their networks. "A cyberattack sparked the disruption in the refuelling system of gas stations... in the previous several hours," according to state broadcaster IRIB. It went on to say that technical personnel had resolved the problem and that the refuelling process will soon resume normalcy.

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