U.S. Offers $10 mn Reward for Information on Blackcat Ransomware Business

The U.S. State Department has announced a reward of up to $10 million for information on the Blackcat ransomware business responsible for the cyber security attack on UnitedHealth Group’s tech unit.
VC funding for techThe cybercriminal group, operating under the guise of ALPHV Blackcat ransomware-as-a-service, targeted critical infrastructure sectors both in the United States and globally, according to a news statement issued by the department. This move underscores the severity of the attack, which disrupted insurance payments across America and had far-reaching consequences.

UnitedHealth revealed last week its efforts to address a backlog of medical claims exceeding $14 billion following the cyber assault, which initiated in late February, Reuters news report said.

The impacted unit, Change Healthcare, plays a pivotal role in facilitating payments between insurance companies and healthcare providers. The resulting outage has left patients and practitioners facing financial uncertainties, particularly affecting community health centers catering to over 30 million vulnerable and uninsured individuals.

Reports emerged earlier this month alleging that UnitedHealth Group paid a $22 million ransom to regain control of its systems. However, the outcome of this payment remains undisclosed, with uncertainties surrounding whether the Blackcat group upheld its end of the ransom deal. Following the cyberattack, the hackers attempted to mislead authorities and the public by publishing a false press release on their website, falsely claiming law enforcement intervention and implying a cessation of operations.

Information about this reward offer is available on the Rewards for Justice website. Since its inception in 1984, RFJ has paid in excess of $250 million to more than 125 people across the globe who provided actionable information that helped resolve threats to U.S. national security.

As investigations continue into the ramifications of the cyber breach, the offer of a substantial reward by the U.S. State Department underscores the severity of ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure and the urgent need to combat such criminal activities.

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