Washington-ALSHARQIYA July 16: The United States offered, on Thursday, a reward of 10 million dollars for information revealing the identity of hackers working for foreign governments.
The official account of the "Rewards for Justice" program of the US State Department, on Twitter, announced a reward of up to 10 million dollars for information on malicious cyber operations associated with foreign governments targeting the infrastructure of the United States.
The program searches for information that "leads to the identification or location of any person (...) engaged in malicious cyber activities against critical infrastructure of the United States".
Malicious cyber operations target US infrastructure, such as computer hacks and ransomware attacks, in violation of US federal law.
Earlier this July, hackers believed to be behind a massive blackmail operation targeting hundreds of companies around the world demanded a ransom of $70 million to return data they were holding hostage.
The request was posted on a dark web site on a blog usually used by the cybercrime Revel Gang, a gang with ties to Russia that is one of the world's most widely used Internet gangs for blackmail.
The gang uses an affiliated structure, which makes it difficult to identify who is speaking on behalf of the hackers, but Alan Liska of the cybersecurity company Recorded Future said the message was almost certainly coming from the leadership of the Revell gang itself.
The attack carried out by this gang was among the most prominent extortion attacks in a series of increasingly high-profile hacking operations.
The gang infiltrated the Miami-based IT company Cassia, gained access to the company's clients and began a chain reaction that quickly paralyzed the computers of hundreds of companies around the world.
The cybersecurity company ESET said that the number of countries affected by the cyber attack amounted to about 12 countries.
The White House had said it was trying to reach out to victims of the attack "to provide assistance based on a nationwide risk assessment."