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State Department Announces Reward Offer for Cybercrime Information

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Rewards for Justice
Rewards for Justice Program

The State Department is offering up to $10 million in rewards through the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program for information that could help identify and locate individuals involved in malicious cyber operations against U.S. critical infrastructure.

Certain malicious cyber activities homing in on critical infrastructure may be considered a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the State Department said Thursday.

Violations of CFAA may include intentional unauthorized access to a computer and transmission of extortion threats as part of ransomware attacks.

The State Department said the RFJ program has established a Tor-based reporting channel to protect the security and safety of individuals providing tips and is collaborating with interagency partners to facilitate information processing and payment of rewards to sources. The department may pay potential sources in the form of cryptocurrency through the RFJ program.

In January 2020, the State Department awarded IST Research a contract to support the RFJ program.