According to the CNN report, the U.S. State Department is offering dark web informants cryptocurrency bounties in exchange for information on hackers seen as threats to the country. The State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program offers up to $10 million for the “identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participates in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure.”
The program addresses several other key national security issues beyond ransomware.
This isn’t the first time the state department has launched an initiative like this. In fact, the RFJ program has been in place since 1984. Since then, the U.S. government has paid over $150 million to over 100 people who “provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.” The U.S. state program addresses several other key national security issues beyond ransomware, including terrorism financing, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and North Korea. Several other countries have expressed concern over the increase in ransomware attacks.
State Department is now open to paying informants with cryptocurrencies.
Previously, the RJF program has paid out rewards via money transfers or even by delivering suitcases full of cash. But according to CNN, the State Department is now open to paying informants with cryptocurrencies. According to CNN, the RJF program is pivoting its payment mechanisms to include cryptocurrency payments. “Finding people where they are and reaching them with the technology on which they are most comfortable, I think, is the name of the game for Rewards for Justice,” a State Department official told CNN. U.S government offering crypto payments to informants is welcoming news to the crypto community.