A May 6 press statement from Ned Price, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, announced that the State Department is offering a reward of up to $10,000,000 for information on the identification and/or location of any individuals who hold leadership positions in the Conti ransomware group.
The press statement says that “In addition, the Department is also offering a reward of up to $5,000,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual in any country conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in a Conti variant ransomware incident.”
On May 26, 2021, we reported that “The FBI released an alert last week warning that Conti ransomware attacks have been targeting U.S. healthcare and first responder networks, including law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, 9-1-1 dispatch centers, and municipalities within the last year. Specifically, the Bureau identified 16 such attacks targeting these organizations nationwide.”
Further, “These healthcare and first responder networks are among the more than 400 organizations worldwide victimized by Conti, over 290 of which are located in the U.S., according to the FBI bulletin. Like most ransomware variants, it noted, Conti typically steals victims’ files and encrypts the servers and workstations in an effort to force a ransom payment from the victim. The ransom letter instructs victims to contact the actors through an online portal to complete the transaction.”
“The Conti ransomware group has been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years,” the press statement says. “The FBI estimates that as of January 2022, there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding $150,000,000, making the Conti Ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented.”
The statement adds that offering this reward is a demonstration of the United States’ global commitment to protecting victims of ransomware. The Department is looking to partner with nations that want to bring justice for those victims affected by ransomware.
According to the statement, the reward is offered under the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP).