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US offering $10M award for capture of Russian ransomware distributor


The U.S. State Department is offering up to a $10 million award for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a Russian national allegedly behind several ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The State Department said in a statement Tuesday 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 Reward 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 U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday it has unsealed two indictments charging Mr. Matveev with using three different ransomware variants to attack numerous victims throughout the U.S., including law enforcement agencies in Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, as well as victims in health care and other sectors nationwide.

“From his base in Russia, Matveev allegedly used multiple ransomware variants 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 criminal division, in a statement.

The statement said ransomware variants have included the 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 San Francisco-based managing general agency Coalition Inc. issued Tuesday said an increase in ransomware is anticipated as long as global socioeconomic conditions remain volatile.