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US rewards 15 million USD for information about Russia’s Conti ransomware group

Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said the country is rewarding a total of $15 million for information about the Russia-based Conti ransomware group.

The reward includes $10 million for the “identification or location” of key leaders and $5 million for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the “Conti ransomware attack.”

By offering this award, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting potential ransomware victims around the world from cybercriminals.”

Rewards are provided under the U.S. Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program.

The FBI estimates more than 1,000 victims have paid more than $150 million to the Conti team, making it the most damaging ransomware variant ever recorded.

Last month, CNBC reported that the Conti team had been damaged by leaks detailing its size, leadership, and business, as well as the ransomware source code. The leaks appeared to be an act of retaliation for Conti’s support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Also in April, Bleeping Computer reported that a new malicious loader called Bumblebee is perhaps the latest development by the Conti team, replacing the BazarLoader backdoor used to deliver the ransomware payload.

According to the researchers, the emergence of Bumblebee in phishing campaigns coincides with a decrease in the use of BazarLoader to distribute file-encrypting malware.