US offers $15M for info on Conti ransomware

The U.S.Department of State set two separate bounties for information on the Conti ransomware organized crime group totaling $15 million.

Any information that helps identify or locate the Conti group leaders will be awarded up to $10 million. Additionally, $5 million will be awarded for any information that leads to the arrest of individuals conspiring with the Conti group.

The rewards are offered under the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) and can be claimed from any country.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to delete or publish private information unless a ransom is paid.

Total value received by ransomware attacks between the years 2016-2021 (via Chainalysis)
Total value received by ransomware attacks between the years 2016-2021 (via Chainalysis)

Ransomware attacks peaked in 2020 by reaching $692 million in total value, according to Chainalysis. The total amount paid in ransom remained over $600 million as of 2021. However, the slight decline in confiscated total value doesn’t mean that the threat is also degrading. 

The report states:

“Despite these numbers, anecdotal evidence, plus the fact that ransomware revenue in the first half of 2021 exceeded that of the first half of 2020, suggests to us that 2021 will eventually be revealed to have been an even bigger year for ransomware.”

Top 10 ransomware revenue strains (via Chainalysis)
Top 10 ransomware revenue strains (via Chainalysis)

The same report breaks down the top 10 ransomware strains by revenue, where Conti takes the first place by extorting at least $180 million from its victims in 2021. 

Conti ransomware

It is estimated that the Conti ransomware group has been active for over two years and has around 350 members. It was able to collect over $2.7 billion in ransom since 2020.

According to information leaked from Conti, the group uses proprietary in-house software that is much faster than other most ransomware programs. All versions of Microsoft Windows are prone to their attacks. 

On 21 April 2022, the group attacked the Government of Costa Rica and targeted at least five government agencies, including the Ministries of Finance, Science, and Technology. Conti demanded a $10 million ransom and started leaking certain information for not receiving it. 

Specialists from Cyberint, who analyzed Conti debunked previously confiscated in-group messages written in Russian and discovered that the group adopted a well-managed organizational structure.

Conti's organizational structure (via Cyberint)
Conti’s organizational structure (via Cyberint)

The messages also showed that the group had physical offices in Russia, ran performance reviews, and even named an “employee of the month.”

Lotem Finkelstein, the head of threat intelligence at Check Point Software Technologies, stated:

“Our … assumption is that such a huge organization, with physical offices and enormous revenue would not be able to act in Russia without the full approval, or even some cooperation, with Russian intelligence services.”

The post US offers $15M for info on Conti ransomware appeared first on CryptoSlate.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
On Key

Related Posts

Just In: Bitcoin Maximalist Jack Dorsey Left Twitter Board, Here’s Why

In what could turn out to be a significant milestone of crypto Twitter in the long term, Jack Dorsey on Wednesday left the social media giant. This comes amid Elon Musk’s recent proposal for Twitter purchase. Dorsey Left Twitter Dorsey stepped down from his role as one of Twitter’s board of directors during the company’s

Just-In: Andreessen Horowitz Launches $4.5 Billion Crypto Fund Amid Market Crash

Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has made public its plan to back crypto and blockchain companies with a $4.5 billion fund, as revealed by CNBC.  Andreessen Horowitz Bullish on Crypto Jointly established by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz on July 6, 2009, Andreessen Horowitz majors in channeling investments into start-ups and growth firms,

Why Banning Crypto Mining Is Almost Impossible?

Jarran Mellerud, a crypto researcher and analyst, has given reasons why banning crypto mining might not be feasible, using China’s failed attempt at banning the mining operations of the largest digital currency as a case study. China’s Repeated Failure in Banning Crypto Mining In June 2021, China banned Crypto Mining, this has once again proved

US Senator Cruz ‘Incredibly Bullish’ on Bitcoin — Says ‘I Have a Weekly Buy’

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz says he is “incredibly bullish” on bitcoin and purchases the cryptocurrency weekly for his portfolio. Emphasizing that cryptocurrency “will change the world,” the senator said, “Uncontrolled, decentralized currency is terrifying for those who want control of currency.” Senator Ted Cruz ‘Incredibly Bullish’ on Bitcoin, Crypto Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussed bitcoin