WASHINGTON, May 7, 2022 (AFP) – The United States on Friday offered up to $10 million to provide information about the Russian-linked Conti hacker group accused of carrying out attacks in Costa Rica last month.
The State Department said it would award up to $10 million for information identifying or tracing the leaders of the hacking group, and up to $5 million for data leading to an arrest or conviction.
The FBI estimates that the Conti Group’s data hijackers (ransomware) left more than 1,000 victims with over $150 million in payments as of January.
The State Department said the payment makes “Conti’s ransomware variant the most expensive strain ever.”
“By offering this bounty, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting potential victims of ransomware worldwide from the exploitation of cybercrime,” he said.
The State Department indicated that Conti’s alleged plot to attack government institutions in Costa Rica last month severely disrupted the government’s tax and customs procedures.
Little is publicly known about the Conti Group’s leadership, but an unusual leak in February provided some clues.
The leak appears to have come thanks to Conti’s outspoken support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as one person posted internal group messages with pro-Ukraine tweets.
The findings of analysts who reviewed the documents include that Conti has physical offices in Russia.