The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participates in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Certain malicious cyber operations targeting U.S. critical infrastructure may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA. Violations of the statute include transmitting extortion threats as part of ransomware attacks; intentional unauthorized access to a computer or exceeding authorized access and thereby obtaining information from any protected computer; and knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer. Protected computers include not only U.S. government and financial institution computer systems, but also those used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication.
The Rewards for Justice, or RFJ, program has set up a Dark Web Tor-based tips-reporting channel to protect the safety and security of potential sources at: he5dybnt7sr6cm32xt77pazmtm65flqy6irivtflruqfc5ep7eiodiad.onion. The RFJ program also is working with interagency partners to enable the rapid processing of information as well as the possible relocation of and payment of rewards to sources. Reward payments may include payments in cryptocurrency.
Since its inception in 1984, the RFJ program has paid in excess of $200 million to more than 100 people across the globe who provided actionable information that helped prevent terrorism, bring terrorist leaders to justice, and resolve threats to U.S. national security. Follow RFJ on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RFJ_USA.
More information on foreign malicious cyber activity is available on the Rewards for Justice website at www.rewardsforjustice.net.
“Our message is clear,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “Countries that harbor cyber criminals have a responsibility to take action. If they don’t, we will.”