US affords $15M for information on Conti ransomware

The usDepartment of State set two separate bounties for data on the Conti ransomware organized crime group totaling $15 million.

Any data that helps determine or find the Conti group leaders can be awarded as much as $10 million. Moreover, $5 million can be awarded for any data that results in the arrest of people conspiring with the Conti group.

The rewards are provided underneath the Division of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) and might be claimed from any nation.

Ransomware assaults

Ransomware is a kind of malware that threatens to delete or publish non-public data except a ransom is paid.

Total value received by ransomware attacks between the years 2016-2021 (via Chainalysis)
Complete worth acquired by ransomware assaults between the years 2016-2021 (through Chainalysis)

Ransomware assaults peaked in 2020 by reaching $692 million in whole worth, in line with Chainalysis. The whole quantity paid in ransom remained over $600 million as of 2021. Nonetheless, the slight decline in confiscated whole worth doesn’t imply that the menace can also be degrading. 

The report states:

“Regardless of these numbers, anecdotal proof, plus the truth that ransomware income within the first half of 2021 exceeded that of the primary half of 2020, suggests to us that 2021 will ultimately be revealed to have been a good greater yr for ransomware.”

Top 10 ransomware revenue strains (via Chainalysis)
High 10 ransomware income strains (through Chainalysis)

The identical report breaks down the highest 10 ransomware strains by income, the place Conti takes the primary place by extorting at the very least $180 million from its victims in 2021. 

Conti ransomware

It’s estimated that the Conti ransomware group has been energetic for over two years and has round 350 members. It was capable of gather over $2.7 billion in ransom since 2020.

In accordance with data leaked from Conti, the group makes use of proprietary in-house software program that’s a lot sooner than different most ransomware applications. All variations of Microsoft Home windows are susceptible to their assaults. 

On 21 April 2022, the group attacked the Authorities of Costa Rica and focused at the very least 5 authorities companies, together with the Ministries of Finance, Science, and Know-how. Conti demanded a $10 million ransom and began leaking sure data for not receiving it. 

Specialists from Cyberint, who analyzed Conti debunked beforehand confiscated in-group messages written in Russian and found that the group adopted a well-managed organizational construction.

Conti's organizational structure (via Cyberint)
Conti’s organizational construction (through Cyberint)

The messages additionally confirmed that the group had bodily workplaces in Russia, ran efficiency critiques, and even named an “worker of the month.”

Lotem Finkelstein, the pinnacle of menace intelligence at Test Level Software program Applied sciences, acknowledged:

“Our … assumption is that such an enormous group, with bodily workplaces and large income wouldn’t be capable of act in Russia with out the complete approval, and even some cooperation, with Russian intelligence companies.”

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