By Aryaman Bhatia, Science and Tech Editor, The Pawprint
A DarkSide ransomware assault on the east coast of the United States in May knocked down a crucial 5,500 mile-long petroleum pipeline. The pipeline transports 45% of the east coast’s petroleum.
The bounty is given for information that can lead to the “identity or whereabouts of any persons” in a position of leadership with DarkSide. A $5 million reward has also been offered for information leading to the arrest of anybody “conspiring to engage” in a DarkSide ransomware campaign.
After the Colonial Pipeline firm went down for many days due to the cyber-attack, there were gasoline shortages. The $4.4 million ransom was finally paid in Bitcoin. The greatest reward ever given for the capture of an individual involved in a cybercrime is $10 million.
Maksim Yakubets, the purported leader behind another ransomware ring named Evil Corp previously held the humiliating record. In 2019, the US identified and humiliated him with assistance from UK authorities.
Previously, the record bounty was $3 million for another accused cyber-crime leader named Evgeniy Bogachev. They are believed to be leading carefree lives in Russia, free from the threat of prosecution by local authorities, who habitually disregard Western claims against Russian hackers.
Even though the US has released their names, images, and a general location, these suspected criminals are secure.
The US appears to have even less information in terms of identifying DarkSide’s leaders, despite the fact that most research indicates they are also in Russia. So, despite the eye-watering amounts promised by the US, the odds of these offenders being brought to justice are remote.