The US State Department on Thursday announced a reward of up to US$10 million (A$13.5 million) for information leading to the identification or location of anyone with a key leadership position in DarkSide, a cybercrime organisation the FBI has said is based in Russia.
The FBI has said DarkSide was responsible for the May cyber attack targeting the Colonial Pipeline, causing a days-long shutdown that led to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localised fuel shortages in the US Southeast.
The State Department also said it is offering a reward of up to US$5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any person attempting to participate in a DarkSide ransomware incident.
“In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals,” the department said in a statement.
Colonial Pipeline has said it paid the hackers nearly US$5 million in Bitcoin to regain access to its systems. The US Justice Department in June recovered about US$2.3 million of the ransom.
The State Department in July offered a reward of up to US$10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participated in malicious cyber activities against US critical infrastructure.