US State Dept announces $10M reward for BlackCat ransomware group

A Computer System Hacked Warning

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The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to $10M for information about the ransomware group ALPHV BlackCat, which is believed to been behind last month’s cyberattack on UnitedHealth’s (NYSE:UNH) Change Healthcare unit, which handles around 50% of the nation’s medical claims.

Calling ALPHV BlackCat a “ransomware-as-a-service group,” the State Dept. accused the organization of compromising “computer networks of critical infrastructure sectors in the United States and worldwide” and “stealing sensitive confidential information,” amongst other crimes and wrongdoings.

The reward is being made available through the department’s Rewards for Justice program. The department encouraged people with information on ALPHV BlackCat to contact the program through its Tor-based tips channel, according to a statement released Wednesday.

UnitedHealth reportedly paid APLHV BlackCat, which is believed to have ties to Russia, $22M to regain access to its systems. The attack, which occurred on Feb. 21, crippled core administrative functions such as billing and claims processing at hospitals, healthcare providers and pharmacies nationwide.

On Saturday, UnitedHealth said it was ready to begin clearing out the estimated $14B in claims that had piled up as a result of the cyberattack.

Roy Walsh

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