The U.S. State Department is offering rewards of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person participating in malicious cyber activities against critical infrastructure in the U.S. under the direction of a foreign government. One of the ways of transferring this information is via a special website that the administration set up on the dark web in order to protect the safety and security of sources.
The official statement of the State Department last week noted that malicious cyber operations, which may violate the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, include extortion threats as part of as part of ransomware attacks, unauthorized access to protected computers, and intentionally transmitting information from them in order to cause damage.
It is another significant step by the Biden administration in the war against cybercrime targeting the American economy and society, especially by foreign governments, first and foremost China and Russia. On Monday, the U.S., NATO, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Japan issued coordinated statements in which they accused China of a global espionage campaign.
The reward, which can be paid in digital currency in order to ensure anonymity, will be given in the framework of the State Department's "Reward for Justice" program. Since its establishment in 1984, the program has paid more than $200 million to more than 100 men and women throughout the world for information that helped prevent terrorist attacks and other actions that could have threatened U.S. national security.