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U.S. State Department Puts $10 Million Bounty on DarkSide Ransomware Group

By Jeff Burt for eSecurityPlanet
Friday, November 5, 2021

The United States government is putting a $10 million bounty on the leaders of the DarkSide cybercriminal organization, the ransomware group behind the attack earlier this year on Colonial Pipeline that caused major gas shortages and long lines at filling stations in the Southeast.

Cybersecurity experts applauded the move. Ilia Kolochenko, founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network, called it a “smart and effective strategy to curb surging cybercrime.” Kolochenko noted that 90 percent of cybercrimes remain unsolved because of underfunded law enforcement agencies, legal technicalities and the ability for bad actors to remain anonymous.

“Nonetheless, cybercriminals are all humans,” he told eSecurity Planet. “They are prone to the same human weaknesses as everybody else. They may accidentally disclose their illicit activities to friends or boast about hacking to their [girlfriends] or boyfriends. Finally, rival hacking groups may know each other in person and perfidiously report their competitors to earn money and increase their market monopoly. Therefore, starting a ‘bug bounty’ to unmask cybercriminals is a great and long-awaited idea that will likely bring fruitful results.” Read Full Article

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