HomeWinBuzzer NewsALPHV/Blackcat Ransomware Gang Targeted by US State Department with Big Rewards

ALPHV/Blackcat Ransomware Gang Targeted by US State Department with Big Rewards

US offers $15 million bounty for ALPHV ransomware gang - $10 million for leaders, $5 million for affiliates' arrest or conviction.

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The United States has taken a step in combating cybercrime by announcing a bounty of up to $15 million for information leading to the identification, arrest, or conviction of individuals associated with the ALPHV/Blackcat ransomware gang. The State Department is offering $10 million for details identifying the key figures within the ALPHV ransomware group or their whereabouts. Additionally, a $5 million reward is available for information that leads directly to the apprehension or legal conviction of any affiliates involved in deploying the group’s notably destructive ransomware.

Cybercrime and National Security Threats

ALPHV has emerged as a formidable threat, specifically targeting critical infrastructure. The ransomware group recently claimed responsibility for infiltrating the Canadian Trans-Northern Pipelines and extracting approximately 190GB of sensitive data. This incident marks the fourth time ALPHV has targeted essential service providers in various countries. Despite efforts by the US Department of Justice and FBI to dismantle the group’s operations late in the previous year, including seizing the gang’s website and releasing a decryption tool, ALPHV promptly resurfaced and resumed its malicious activities. Law enforcement’s brief disruption of ALPHV’s operations did little to curb the group’s capabilities, leading to speculation that more draconian measures were needed.

Motel One, a renowned German hotel chain known for its stylish and budget-friendly accommodations, suffered a massive data breach at the hands of the ALPHV/BlackCat group. The cybercriminals claim to have pilfered over 24 million files, totaling around 6 terabytes (TB) of data. This stolen data includes booking confirmations from the past three years, which encompass customers’ personal details, payment methods, and even sensitive credit card information. The group has threatened to release this data publicly unless a ransom is paid within five days, a move that could have dire reputational and legal consequences for the hotel chain.

In another significant breach, the ALPHV/BlackCat group reportedly stole critical data from approximately 2.5 million patients of McLaren Health Care. This not-for-profit healthcare system, one of Michigan’s largest, serves a vast portion of the state’s residents. 

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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