State Dept offering $10 million for information on Russian cyber criminals

The State Department has announced it is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on a group of Russian cybercriminals 

In a press release on Tuesday, the department said its Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program is seeking information on six individuals who are allegedly connected to a criminal conspiracy involving malicious cyber activities affecting U.S. critical infrastructure.

The individuals were a part of the criminal conspiracy that took part in a destructive malware infection of computers worldwide in June 2017 using malware referred to as NotPetya, the State Department alleged.

The reported attack caused damage to computers of hospitals and other medical facilities in the Heritage Valley Health System in Pennsylvania, one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the U.S., and other U.S. private sector entities.

The attack collectively cost all of the targeted U.S. entities nearly $1 billion in losses, according to the State Department.

The six individuals allegedly connected to the attack worked as officers in the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU) Unit 74455, referred to as “Sandworm Team, Telebots, Voodoo Bear, and Iron Viking” by cybersecurity researchers, per the release.

The State Department said the officers, Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin, were indicted by a federal jury on multiple counts including conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in October 2020. 

This comes as U.S. officials are ramping up their warnings about possible Russian cyberattacks against critical infrastructure amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Tags cyber attacks cyber security Department of State russia Russian cyber threats Russian cyberattacks Russian cyberattacks state department State Department U.S. Department of State

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