US offers $10 million bounty for information on ‘Blackcat’ hackers  

  • The U.S. State Department on Wednesday offered up to $10 million for information on the “Blackcat” ransomware gang.
  • The group attacked the tech arm of UnitedHealth Group (UHG) and disrupted insurance payments across the United States.

The State Department announced Wednesday it would provide a $10 million reward for information about the Blackcat ransomware group that hacked UnitedHealth Group in February.

The cyberattack

Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group that manages payment systems for most of the hospitals in the U.S., was hit by a cyberattack in February. 

The group ALPHV, or Blackcat, was first deployed in 2021. The group’s members have “developed and maintained” ransomware and recruited affiliates to deploy it, the statement said.

“The ALPHV Blackcat ransomware-as-a-service group compromised computer networks of critical infrastructure sectors in the United States and worldwide.” according to the State Department in a statement. “If victims do not pay the ransom, they will make the stolen data public.”

Also read: Hackers pilfer $440K from fake MicroStrategy airdrop news on X

Also read: Hackers never seem to be satisfied with cryptocurrency theft!

UnitedHealth Group’s response

As of mid-March, the healthcare giant said that it is testing software it must restore from the attack but has no date yet for finishing the recovery.

UnitedHealth said last week it was beginning to clear a medical claims backlog of more than $14 billion as it brought its services back online following the cyberattack, which caused wide-ranging disruption starting in late February.

UnitedHealth’s tech unit, Change Healthcare, plays a key role in processing payments from insurers to practitioners, and disruptions caused by cyberattacks have cost patients and doctors a lot of money in some cases.

Community health centres, which serve more than 30 million poor and uninsured patients, have taken a particularly heavy toll.

Earlier this month, the hackers said UnitedHealth paid a $22 million ransom to restore its systems, but it has not been made public whether Black Cat honored its promise of a deal.

Jennifer-Yu

Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and internet governance. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Master’s degree in Journalism. Send tips to j.yu@btw.media.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *