The US Government Offers $10,000 in Crypto to Hackers

The US Department of State will track down and identify “state-sponsored” cybercriminals by offering a $10 million reward in cryptocurrency to hackers and specialists.

With a new initiative for the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, the US State Department (DOS) is attempting to put an end to cybercrime in the country. As a result, it will pay up to $10 million in cryptocurrency to anyone who provides information that leads to the identification of state-sponsored hackers.

Hackers and cybersecurity specialists flocked to the renowned Black Hat Briefings conference last week. The State Department advertised the initiative by imprinting a QR code on flyers and T-shirts, which attendants could scan to access the RFJ page, which had all of the required information. Participants can connect to the RFJ channel via TOR, an anonymous research and communication tool. DOS agents feel that the dark web and current technology – namely, cryptocurrency and blockchain – are appropriate tools for them.

“Something on the Dark Web that provides complete anonymity and a basic level of security is definitely more suitable for such individuals. Therefore, I believe that the name of the game for Rewards for Justice is to find individuals where they are and approach them using the technology with which they are most comfortable.” As said in an interview with CNN by a State Department official.

The United States Is Strengthening Cybersecurity Due to Foreign Hacker Concerns

The DOS made the announcement privately a month ago, following the Biden administration’s determination that the time had come to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity. The administration has accused Russian and Chinese officials of using hackers to compromise several federal agencies and departments in the United States. The distinction is that for the first time in the RFJ’s four-decade history, informants now have the option of being compensated in cryptocurrency.

“We provide wire transfers, we actually can still deliver – and do deliver – suitcases full of cash, we can provide in-kind rewards. And now a recipient will be able to choose whichever cryptocurrency they like.”

DOS officials declined to comment on the government’s further use cases for cryptocurrency. Nonetheless, they have demonstrated the Biden administration’s continued willingness to track crypto transactions for “cybersecurity concerns.” Similarly, the FBI did so when it seized over 2.1 million BTC paid as ramson by the US energy giant Colonial Pipeline.

The Biden administration has been eager to impose harsher rules on cryptocurrencies by backing the Warner amendment, which adds more complications to the badly worded infrastructure bill than it solves. And, despite the fact that Warner and other Democratic Senators, including Cynthia Lumis and Pat Toomey, collaborated on a fresh and amended amendment, it fell short of passage because of Senator Richard Shelby’s obstinate opposition.

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