The U.S. Department of State has announced that it is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that leads to the “identification or location” of six Russian GRU hackers. The six named individuals, all officers within the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), are sought for their alleged involvement in malicious cyber activity affecting U.S. critical infrastructure, the announcement stated. The $10 million offered comes as part of the ‘Rewards for Justice’ program administered by the Diplomatic Service.
Russian military officers said to be members of the Sandworm hacking group
The six, named by the Department of State as Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin, were said to be part of GRU Unit 74455. This unit is perhaps better known as Sandworm, the hacking group behind the NotPetya cyberattacks against hospitals and medical facilities in 2017 which resulted in losses of nearly $1 billion according to the Department of State’s press release.
A federal grand jury in 2020 indicted the six Russian GRU officers on counts including conspiracy to conduct computer fraud, damaging protected computers and aggravated identify theft.
Sandworm thought to be involved in cyberattacks against Ukraine
Although the indictment dates back to hacking activity five years ago, the Sandworm group has been linked to attempts to disrupt Ukrainian electrical power substations during the current conflict. Sandworm has previous as far as this is concerned, cutting power in Kiev back in 2016.
If you can help, then a ‘tips site’ has been established, using Tor to provide anonymity and which can be accessed using a dedicated Tor browser.