Friday 27 January 2023

United States offers a reward for information of co-conspirators of conti ransomwaree

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QCOSTARICA (US Embassy Costa Rica) The US Department of State is offering a reward of up to US$10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person(s) in a key leadership position in the Conti Ransomware transnational organized crime group.

A reward of up to US$5 million is also being offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any person, in any country, who conspires to participate or attempts to participate in a Conti incident.

“The United States is committed to helping our Costa Rican friends in the face of cyberattacks by the Conti group that they have suffered in recent weeks. This assistance reaffirms and reinforces our close cooperation with Costa Rica for a long time,” pointed out the Ambassador of the United States to Costa Rica, Cynthia Telles.

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The Conti Group has been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents in the last two years. The FBI estimates that as of January 2022 there have been over a thousand Conti-related attack victims, with victim payouts exceeding US$150 million, making the Conti Ransomware the most damaging ransomware strain ever documented.

In April of this year, the group perpetrated a ransomware incident against the Costa Rican government that impacted the country’s foreign trade by attacking its tax and customs platforms. By offering these rewards, the United States shows its commitment to protecting victims of exploitation by cybercriminals around the world. The United States is seeking allied countries willing to seek justice for victimized businesses and organizations affected by ransomware.

For its part, the Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) through the Directorate of Digital Governance and the National Computer Incident Response Center (CSIRT-CR) expressed their appreciation of support by the States United States as a strategic ally to confront cybercriminal groups.

“We emphasize the great importance of having local coordination and international support; this is a fundamental aspect that allows us to generate the necessary synergies to confront and fight against organized crime, which includes cybercrime, which transcends borders. Cybercrimes represent a constant challenge.

“Our country reiterates its commitment to confront organized crime in the physical and digital world, especially in this current situation in terms of cybersecurity, in which we have redoubled efforts with prompt and timely measures in terms of monitoring, prevention, containment and recovery of computer threats. Part of the efforts that we at MICITT are making and must continue to make is to strengthen people’s awareness of cybersecurity, as well as to strengthen the technological systems of our essential infrastructures, the public sector, and the private sector,” reads the message in the press information released by the U.S. Embassy.

These rewards are offered through the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP). Anyone with information can write to or call 1-800-225-5324.

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The Department of State administers this program in close coordination with its law enforcement partners as part of a government effort to disrupt and dismantle transnational organized crime globally, including cybercrime. More than 75 transnational criminals and major drug traffickers have been brought to justice under this TOCRP program and the Narcotics Rewards Program (NRP) since 1986. To date, the Department of State has paid more than US$135 million in rewards through these programs.

For more information about the Conti group and the TOCRP program, visit the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards website.



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