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Feds offer $10 million reward in hunt for DarkSide ransomware group

The State Department is offering the bounty for information leading to the identification or location of the cybercrime group's key leaders.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, two star marathoner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise Cybersecurity, Digital Privacy, IoT, Consumer Tech, Running and Fitness Tech, Smartphones, Wearables
Bree Fowler
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Federal officials say DarkSide was responsible for the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline.

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The US State Department is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of key leaders of the DarkSide cybercrime group, which it says was responsible for the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline earlier this year.

Colonial paid millions of dollars in Bitcoin to regain control of its computer systems but was still forced to shut down its pipeline for days, resulting in gasoline price spikes on the East Coast. Some of that money was later recovered.

In addition, the State Department said it's offering up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who attempts to participate in a DarkSide variant ransomware attack.

"In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals," the State Department said in a statement.