The US State Department is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a Russian national allegedly behind several ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure in the US and elsewhere.
The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that it is offering the reward for the arrest of Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev for his role in ransomware incidents targeting U.S. law enforcement, businesses and critical infrastructure around the world under the Transnational Organized Crime Bounty Program.
The program gives the Secretary of State statutory authority to offer rewards of up to $25 million for information leading to the reduction of transnational crime.
Separately, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday it has dropped two indictments accusing Matveev of using three different ransomware variants to attack a large number of victims across the US, including law enforcement agencies in Washington, DC and New Jersey, as well as healthcare victims . care and other sectors throughout the country.
“From his base in Russia, Matveev allegedly used multiple variants of ransomware to attack critical infrastructure around the world, including hospitals, government agencies and victims in other sectors,”; said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., of the Justice Dept. s crime branch, in a statement.
The statement said ransomware variants have included Hive, which since June 2021 has targeted more than 1,400 victims around the world and received as much as $120 million in ransomware payments.
Two other ransomware variants have led to $88 million in ransomware payments, according to the statement.
A report by the San Francisco-based general agency Coalition Inc. published on Tuesday says that an increase in ransomware is expected as long as global socio-economic conditions are unstable.